Last week, we report on Daimler’s plan to transition to greener technologies over the next few years. The bulk of the plan will be the launch the 4 new all-electric cars it greenlighted for production last year under the Mercedes-Benz brand – the first of which is expected to be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show later this year.
Now we learn that Daimler is considering introducing the upcoming EVs under a new all-electric brand.
The news comes from Handelsblatt, a German business publication well-connected in the country’s auto industry:
“The launch of the electric car brand is planned for September in Paris, where Mercedes wants to present a SUV model which is based on the current GLC model, the sources told Handelsblatt. The electric car should go on sale next year and more models are planned up to 2020.”
The publication added that Daimler’s non-executive supervisory board is expected to decide on the possible introduction of the new electric car brand at a meeting on July 20.
It would be an important move to make the distinction clear between Mercedes’ cars and Daimler’s electric vehicles since they will be built on a new, but the designs will be based on current Mercedes models, like the Mercedes-Benz GLC in the case of the first of 4 EVs to be unveiled.
The company never built an electric car from the ground up and its only battery-powered vehicles were built on existing model platforms (A Class and B Class) with drivetrains developed in partnership with Tesla. The practice is common among established automakers and it makes it difficult for the EVs to shine when they are priced with a significant premium on their gas-powered counterparts, which are otherwise exactly the same and often more easily available.
It basically sets up the electric version to fail without subsidies, but a new brand would mostly solve this problem.
We should know more later this summer and closer to the Paris Motor Show in September. There’s also the possibility that Daimler would introduce a new sub-brand for Mercedes’ electric vehicles, like BMW did with ‘BMW i’.
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