German carmaker Daimler has backed up its claims of erecting a sub-brand of purely electric cars by announcing its investment of $22.75 billion towards the purchase of batteries through 2030.
Daimler not only has plans to go in all guns blazing on electrifying the Mercedes-Benz brand but will also electrify its commercial vehicle and bus lineup. Daimler has already showcased some of the electric trucks and buses it plans to put into production in the next few years.
Executives at Mercedes-Benz have promised 130 electrified vehicles through 2022. However, it is important to know what class of vehicles classify as electrified. Such vehicles range from ones with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system, to a plug-in hybrid vehicle, to an all-electric car that does without internal combustion. We can safely expect most of the Mercs to feature the former two solutions. The brand plans to launch at least 10 electric cars by 2022.
The first electric Mercedes-Benz is the EQC arriving in mid-2019.
The first of these will be the 2020 EQC, a 300km-plus electric crossover. It will go on sale in some markets in mid-2019. An EQA electric hatchback will follow the crossover, with an EQS luxury sedan in the works as well.
While automakers around the world are rapidly going electric, at least partly for now, controversy still abounds as to where they source their raw materials. The way suppliers obtain precious Earth materials needed to manufacture lithium-ion batteries is questionable, to say the least.
Daimler announced that it will protect human rights with what it calls the Human Rights Respect System. The system intends to hold suppliers accountable for how they source their raw materials for the batteries which Daimler will buy. New suppliers will be thoroughly vetted by around 700 engineers and human rights experts in the field before Daimler executives sign a contract with them.
Mercedes-Benz's luxury vehicles will also go electric following the EQ sub-brand kicking off.
Although $22.75 billion is not a small investment by itself, Volkswagen already holds the numero uno position in spending on battery procurement. The firm has committed as much as $48 billion to boost battery purchase to cover the needs of its EVs through 2025.