Daimler is accelerating into the electric future. Last year the company spent about half of its 5-billion-euro R&D budget on electrification and other emission-reducing technologies, and announced that it would introduce 10 new plug-ins by 2017. The Mercedes S550 Plug-In Hybrid, the group’s third model with a cord, went on sale in the US in July.
Now Mercedes has confirmed that it’s working on a pure EV that looks like a possible competitor for Tesla’s Model S.
“We are working on an intelligent concept for a highly attractive electric vehicle with a range of 400-500 km (228-311 miles),” development chief Thomas Weber told the German magazine auto motor und sport, adding that the electric drive concept would fit into Mercedes’s flexible architecture, allowing it to be used in more than one model.
Of course, the media sees every new EV as a would-be Tesla-tamer these days, but the German luxury carmakers, at least, certainly do seem to be targeting Tesla. As Model X’s delivery date approaches, Audi and BMW are both reported to have ESUVs in the pipeline.
Daimler knows more about what goes on in Fremont than most automakers. It partnered with Tesla in 2009, and initially used Tesla powertrains in its smart ED and Mercedes B-class Electric Drive. In 2014, the Germans loosened their ties with Tesla, and started building up a pair of local subsidiaries that build EV batteries and cells.
Source: Automotive News Europe