Germany’s Daimler said Thursday that its Mercedes-Benz brand would “be ready to go all electric at the end of the decade, where market conditions allow.”
It’s the latest sign of how major automotive firms are gearing up for a future based around electric vehicles.
According to Daimler, from 2025 all of Mercedes-Benz’ “newly launched vehicle architectures will be electric-only.”
Breaking things down, Daimler explained how it planned to launch three pure-electric architectures that year: MB.EA, which will relate to medium and large passenger cars; AMG.EA, which will focus on performance vehicles; and VAN.EA, for light commercial vehicles and vans. Models based on these platforms will be electric only.
From 2025 onward, consumers will also have the option of purchasing an “all-electric alternative for every model the company makes.”
“The EV shift is picking up speed — especially in the luxury segment, where Mercedes-Benz belongs,” Ola Källenius, who heads up both Daimler and Mercedes-Benz, said in a statement.
“The tipping point is getting closer and we will be ready as markets switch to electric-only by the end of this decade,” he added. “This step marks a profound reallocation of capital.”
In light of its plans, Daimler stated that Mercedes-Benz would ramp-up its research and development. “In total, investments into battery electric vehicles between 2022 and 2030 will amount to over 40 billion euros.”
Alongside global partners, Mercedes will also look to establish eight gigafactories to manufacture the cells it needs for its vehicles. This would supplement plans to develop nine plants focused on the development of battery systems.
Daimler added that Mercedes-Benz intended to, “team up with new European partners to develop and efficiently produce future cells and modules, a step which ensures that Europe remains at the heart of the auto industry even in an electric era.”
Low and zero-emission transportation is seen as being a crucial tool for major economies attempting to reduce their environmental footprint and cut air pollution.
The U.K. government, for example, plans to stop the sale of new diesel and gasoline cars and vans by 2030 and require, from 2035, all new cars and vans to have zero tailpipe emissions.
Elsewhere, the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, is targeting a 100% reduction in CO2 emissions from cars and vans by 2035.
Against this backdrop, a host of companies involved in the auto industry have announced plans to expand their offering of low and zero-emission vehicles.
Earlier this month, for example, the Volkswagen Group said half of its sales were expected to be battery-electric vehicles by 2030. By 2040, the company said almost 100% of its new vehicles in major markets should be zero-emission.
Back in March, the Volkswagen Group’s CEO dismissed the notion that his firm could join forces with Tesla, telling CNBC that the German automotive giant was looking to go its own way.
Speaking to “Squawk Box Europe,” Herbert Diess was asked if he would rule out any future deal with Elon Musk’s electric car maker, in which VW could manufacture its cars, or if the Tesla and VW brands would ever unite.
“No, we haven’t considered [that], we are going our own way,” he replied. “We want to get close and then overtake.”
“We think that we can — we need our own software stack, our own technology,” he added. “And also, I think Tesla, or Elon, is very much thinking … [about] his way forward. So no, there are no talks between Elon Musk and myself regarding joining forces.”
Quick Charge Podcast: March 30, 2023
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Tesla is rumored to be planning a US LFP battery cell factory with CATL
Tesla is rumored to be planning a new battery factory to produce LFP cells in the US with China’s CATL, the world’s biggest battery manufacturer.
Over the last few years, CEO Elon Musk has said multiple times that Tesla plans to shift more electric cars to LFP batteries in order to overcome nickel and cobalt supply concerns.
Iron phosphate (LFP) batteries, which don’t use nickel or cobalt, are traditionally cheaper and safer, but they offer less energy density, which means less efficiency and a shorter range for electric vehicles.
However, they have improved enough recently that it now makes sense to use cobalt-free batteries in lower-end and shorter-range vehicles. It also frees up the production of battery cells with other, more energy-dense chemistries to produce longer-range vehicles.
The main issue is that LFP battery cell production is currently almost entirely concentrated in China. Therefore, it creates a logistical problem for electric vehicles produced in other markets.
Furthermore, in the US, it creates a problem for automakers trying to take advantage of the new federal tax credit for electric vehicles, which requires that the batteries of electric vehicles be produced in North America in order for buyers to get the full $7,500 credit. It creates a demand to bring LFP production to North America.
Ford has recently announced a plan to partner with CATL, the world’s biggest battery cell manufacturer, to build LFP battery cells at a $3.5 billion factory in Michigan.
Now Tesla is rumored to be doing the same thing. Bloomberg first reported the rumor:
The EV maker discussed plans involving Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd. with the White House in recent days, said the people, who asked not to be identified revealing private conversations. Tesla representatives sought clarity on the Inflation Reduction Act rules that the Biden administration is finalizing this week, according to some of the people. Rohan Patel, the company’s senior global director of public policy, was among those involved with the discussions, one of the people said.
The report is light on detail, but it states that Tesla is looking at a similar structure to Ford’s own deal with CATL. Texas has also been rumored to be a possible location for the new factory.
The LFP cells would enable Tesla buyers to get the full tax on the base Model 3, which is about to lose the incentive because its cells currently come from CATL’s Chinese factories.
Heart Aerospace finds a new partner to develop ES-30 electric plane battery
Swedish electric airplane maker Heart Aerospace is joining forces with BAE Systems to develop a battery system for its ES-30 electric plane.
Heart partners with BAE to develop electric plane battery
Heart Aerospace is paving the way for sustainable electric air travel to become the norm with its leading-edge zero-emission aircraft.
We first covered the company in 2021 after it made waves with its ES-19 electric airplane. The aircraft was designed to carry up to 19 people up to 250 miles (400 km), perfect for short-distance travel.
The innovation was enough to attract an investment from the third largest US air carrier, United Airlines, in July 2021. United committed to purchasing and deploying 100 ES-19 electric aircraft to its fleet as it works to erase emissions from its fleet “without relying on traditional carbon offsets.”
Air Canada, the largest airliner in Canada, invested $5 million into Heart last year in addition to ordering 30 of its newest model, the ES-30.
Heart introduced the ES-30 last year, an electric plane driven by four electric motors and a battery system. The electric aircraft will have a fully-electric zero-emission range of up to 200 km (124 miles) and 30-minute fast charge capabilities. Hybrid reserve turbogenerators allow travel of nearly 500 miles (800 km) at 25 people max.
To advance the ES-30 battery system, Heart is partnering with BAE Systems, best known for its leading defense and aerospace solutions. The battery system will be the “first of its kind” for a conventional takeoff and landing regional aircraft, operating with zero emissions and significantly reduced noise.
The collaboration will utilize BAE Systems’ over 25 years of experience electrifying heavy-duty industrial vehicles. Chief operating officer at Heart Aerospace, Sofia Graflund, said:
BAE Systems’ extensive experience in developing batteries for heavy-duty ground applications, and their experience in developing safety critical control systems for aerospace, make them an ideal partner in this important next step for the ES-30 and for the aviation industry.
Heart Aerospace says it already has 230 orders and another 100 options for the ES-30 electric aircraft. In addition, Heart says it has a letter of intent for another 108 planes. The ES-30 is scheduled to enter service in 2028.
Heart Aerospace is aiming to double the all-electric range of its aircraft by the late 2030s with close to 250 miles (400km) range. In addition to offering zero emissions, electric airplanes feature lower costs (electricity compared to jet fuel) and less maintenance due to engine repair.
Although 124 miles may not seem like much, it will be perfect for regional air travel while building a base for the future of zero-emission air travel.
The 30-minute fast charge feature is perfect for turning around flights quickly in between loading passengers and luggage.
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