Generation EQ 2016

Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler has announced that it will spend €10 billion (RM47.4 billion) on the development of electric vehicles, according to German newspaper Stuttgarter Zeitung. The aim, said research and development chief Thomas Weber, is to debut up to 10 EVs built from the same platform, three of which will be sold under the smart brand.

With the larger batteries that are being developed, these vehicles will have an operating range of up to 700 km (although smart’s versions will have a range of 150 km, which Weber deems is sufficient), with Mercedes’ range of EQ electric vehicles featuring 0-100 km/h sprint times of under five seconds.

First up would be the production version of the Generation EQ concept, to be built at the same Bremen plant in Germany as regular Mercedes models. This was confirmed by Daimler chairman Dieter Zetsche, as reported by Autocar. “We’ll see this car out on the road within three years from now, at the price range of a reasonably equipped Mercedes-Benz GLC,” he said.

“Our goal is to have electric vehicles make up between 15 and 25% of our global sales by 2025. We are investing €1 billion (RM4.7 billion) our global battery production, which includes €500 million (RM237.2 million) in our second battery plant in Germany.”

Lastly, Weber also talked about the revised S 500 e plug-in hybrid, which will go on sale next spring together with the facelifted S-Class range – the all-electric range on that model is set to be extended to 50 km, up from 30 km on the current model.

Meanwhile, Automotive News reported that Daimler will continue to sell diesel vehicles in the United States, in contrast to fellow German automaker Volkswagen, which has halted sales of its diesel models in that market following the Dieselgate scandal.