Is Daimler ready to fight Tesla for electric car supremacy?

Mercedes-Benz’s plans to build four electric cars by 2020 is well-documented. But a new report indicates that the German automaker’s parent company, Daimler, has a far bigger and more ambitious plan to release at least six and as many as nine electric cars.

Daimler’s goal is apparently aimed at taking the electric car fight to Tesla and Audi, two carmakers that have already made significant pushes in the EV market. Tesla, in particular, appears to be at the heart of Daimler’s motivation as the American-based electric car company has been largely unchallenged in the premium EV market. Specific details on what Daimler’s plans are still unclear, but Reuters suggests that the German conglomerate plans to release all these EV models between 2018 and 2024.

Taking past rumors into account, at least four of these models will likely be Mercedes models. Board of Managers member and R&D chief Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber also mentioned in May 2016 that the current C-Class, S-Class, GLA-Class, and GLC-Class will serve as the templates for the EV models that Daimler is planning for its main brand. Should these templates eventually be used, one of these SUVs is reportedly getting a plug-in hybrid engine that can also tap into a hydrogen fuel cell once its 30-mile EV range dries up.

Add up the numbers and it’s possible that Daimler is also planning to roll out electric vehicles for its other brands with the possibility that one of them will be an EV version of the Sprinter version. Is it possible then that Daimler is also targeting all-electric versions for its fleet of trucks and buses?

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Is Mercedes Preparing To Beat Tesla To The Punch?

Tesla has been holding on to its position as a market leader in the electric car segment for quite some time now. But the company shouldn’t get too comfortable about its status because the rest of the industry is determined to catch up. No more is that evident than with this report about Daimler embarking on a full-on assault of the segment with as many as nine electric models in the next eight years.

Mercedes obviously gets a majority of these models, but it’s worth noting that there is a possibility that Daimler could also adopt a similar strategy as Tesla of building trucks and buses that run on all-electric power. There has been no reports or rumors of Daimler going that route, but unless Mercedes is getting all of the EV models that the parent company is planning for, there is a possibility that the conglomerate is looking to divvy up these models into its other brands.

That’s what I think is going to happen here because at the rate of growth attached to the EV segment, it won’t be long before automakers start preparing other types of vehicles - trucks and buses among them - to go electric. Tesla has already mentioned its plans to do just that so if Mercedes really wants to shake the segment to its core, beating Tesla to the punch in developing all-electric semi-trucks and buses is one way to do it. That’s my fearless prediction and the more I think about it, the more it starts to make sense.

Source: Reuters

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