Mercedes-Benz Reveals Massive EV Plan, Includes Global Battery Network

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【Summary】The automaker recently revealed its intentions for the EV market, around the same time the company announced the phase out of diesel models in the US.

Michael Cheng    Mar 19, 2018 2:10 PM PT
Mercedes-Benz Reveals Massive EV Plan, Includes Global Battery Network

Mercedes-Benz has big plans to capture the rapidly growing EV market. The automaker revealed its intentions last month, around the same time the company announced the phase out of diesel models in the US. 

Under Daimler's umbrella of automotive companies, Mercedes-Benz will focus on establishing a solid presence in the sector. The timely strategy is expected to support its highly anticipated line of EVs (the business is on track to offering electrified versions for all of its vehicle models by 2022).

Six EV Factories in Three Continents

Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of the auto brand's EV plan is the establishment of a global battery network. It will establish six major EV plants across three continents, specifically in the US, China, Germany and France. Notable countries in its production network include Brazil, South Africa, India and Indonesia. Almost every region in the world will have its own corresponding EV Mercedes-Benz plant, which will be responsible for manufacturing electrified components, as well as battery packs.

Interestingly, the company's manufacturing network is concentrated at various parts of the globe, likely based on demand and manufacturing costs. According to a map illustrating the network, Australia, a region wherein EV adoption rates have been slow, does not have its own EV plant or production facility. Its closest major Mercedes-Benz manufacturing plant is in Indonesia; while the location's most accessible EV manufacturing facility is the automaker's plant in China.

"The fact that Mercedes is doubling down on battery factories shows that the company is going after the heart of Tesla's business," said Mark Matousek from Business Insider. "What's more, Mercedes has almost 100 years of experience making cars, while Tesla has less than 20."

Phasing Out Diesel Cars in the US

Last month, the automaker announced it would stop selling diesel models in the US. Many assumed the decision was related to the company's firm commitment to expand EVs in the country. Details released surrounding the announcement suggest the move may not have anything to do with securing the EV market at all.

Mercedes-Benz cited two main reasons for pulling diesel engine models out of the US. According to Ola Kaellenius (Member of the Board Management at Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development Head), US consumers are widely uninterested in diesel vehicles, as diesel engines only represent three percent of the US transportation market.

The other reason stemmed from a disagreement between German auto sellers and the EPA, which delayed the issuance of certificates for its new e-class diesel engine.

"Mercedes planned to introduce diesel engine models for new c-class and GLS SUV models, but now only transport model Sprinter with a diesel engine will be available to Americans since it is made in the US factory in South Carolina," explained Boris Djuric from Newswire.

Although the company did directly not associate its decision surrounding the removal of diesel models in the US with its EV plans, it is expected that the auto brand's upcoming line of EVs will receive a major boost from the diesel-engine phase out.

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