During your education and training you sometimes ask yourself: “How much of this will I actually need later on for my work?” I studied electrical engineering. And even though that’s already a few decades ago the subject is more relevant than ever. The reason is electric mobility.
But it’s about more than just me going back to my roots alone. Early in 20th century electric cars were close to making a breakthrough. At that time in the U.S., for example, they held a market share of nearly 40 percent. Shortly thereafter electric cars disappeared into a niche and remained there for the next one-hundred years. Range, infrastructure, costs - to this day the electric car has had to contend with the same problems.
With e-mobility it’s a bit like a party: Whoever arrives too early is alone on the dance floor. Whoever comes too late may have already missed the best part. It’s all about the right timing. The market share of electric cars in Europe today is still below one percent. But some forecasts assume that in less than ten years every second new car will have electric drive. Because things are now starting to change. As range significantly increases, by the middle of next decade battery costs could be just one-third of the cost in 2012. The entire electric drivetrain will then be at the cost level of its combustion counterpart.
That’s why we are convinced: Now is the time to fully get in.
In Paris we just showed a preview of the first model from our new EQ brand. In three years this car will be on the road – at the price of a well-equipped GLC. It will be built in our existing production network. That’s how we can quickly reach high volumes, worldwide availability, and Mercedes quality from the outset. After all, whoever wants to drive the development of e-mobility must also be able to deliver. By 2025 we will have more than ten all-electric car models on the market.
In addition, we will electrify vans, trucks and buses. We just demonstrated that in a very impressive manner at the IAA in Hanover. This breadth of portfolio and company synergies only exists at Daimler. We’re putting one billion euros in our own battery production, 500 million of which are going into a second battery plant in Germany. We’re also establishing services ranging from inductive charging over private energy storage to the broader use of batteries, because our strategic approach is not limited to merely swapping out drivetrains.
Electrification is far from the only change in our industry. Add to that connectivity, autonomous driving and shared mobility. Each of these has the potential to turn our industry on its head. The real revolution lies in combining them. For customers it’s all about the entire ecosystem. We are re-inventing our products. Thereby we are re-inventing our business model. And as we do so we’ll re-invent Daimler.