Daimler will buy more than €20 billion (US$23 billion) of battery cells for electric drive vehicles by 2030, the company announced. The suppliers are already producing battery cells in Asia and Europe and are continuing to expand in Europe and additionally in the US. Daimler currently has battery cell supply deals with SK Innovation, LG Chem and China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL).
With extensive orders for battery cells until the year 2030, we set another important milestone for the electrification of our future electric vehicles of the EQ product and technology brand. In this way, together with our partners, we ensure the supply of our global battery production network today and in the future using the latest technologies.—Wilko Stark, Member of the Divisional Board Mercedes-Benz Cars, Procurement and Supplier Quality
The company is also investing €1 billion in the global battery production network within the worldwide production network.
The company purchases the cells on the world market, ensuring the best possible technology; the company focuses on the core competence of battery assembly. The global battery production network of Mercedes-Benz Cars will in the future consist of eight factories on three continents.
The first factory in Kamenz is already in series production and the second factory there will start series production at the beginning of 2019. Two more factories will be built in Stuttgart-Untertürkheim, one at the company’s Sindelfingen site, and one each at the sites in Beijing (China), Bangkok (Thailand) and Tuscaloosa (USA).
The local production of batteries is an important success factor in Mercedes-Benz Cars’ electric offensive and is decisive for meeting the global demand for electric vehicles flexibly and efficiently.
Daimler said that competences for the technological evaluation of cells as well as research and development activities will be consistently expanded. These include the continuous optimization of the current generation of Li-ion systems, the further development of cells bought on the world market and research on the next generation of post-lithium-ion systems.
By 2022, the entire Mercedes portfolio is to be electrified, with various electrified alternatives available in every segment, from the smart to the SUVs. In total, there will be well more than 130 variants, from the 48-volt electrical system to EQ Boost and plug-in hybrids and more than ten all-electric vehicles powered by batteries or fuel cells. By 2025, sales of battery-electric vehicles are to increase to 15-25 percent of total unit sales – depending on individual customer preferences and the development of the public infrastructure.
Daimler has been gaining experience with electric trucks since 2010 and has had its first all-electric truck in series production on the market and in customers’ hands since last year: the Fuso eCanter light-duty truck. The all-electric eActros for heavy-duty distribution transport is currently in customer trials in Germany.
Series production in the bus segment began in autumn this year and the first Mercedes-Benz eCitaro was recently delivered to Hamburg’s public transport operator: Hamburger Hochbahn AG.
Mercedes-Benz Vans electrifies its entire commercial fleet. It starts with the all-electric mid-size van eVito, which has been delivered since November 2018. The eSprinter will follow in the second half of 2019.