Daimler gets electrified

With an investment of more than €7 billion over the next two years, luxury carmaker intends to add an electric version to all of its model families including the subcompact Smart. Towards this end, the company plans to develop a specific vehicle architecture for battery-electric cars. And the existing GLC model will be expanded by a new version that combines the fuel cell and the plug-in hybrid approach.

These days, Daimler unveiled electromobility roadmap, proving that the carmaker is serios about driving electrically. The company’s next step towards the electrification of the powertrain is introducing the 48V split-voltage power system across the board, to be introduced in 2017. This technology will enable a degree efficiency that hitherto was possible only with high-voltage hybrid powertrains, the company promises. Also in 2017, the carmaker will introduce a new generation of lithium-ion traction batteries for HEVs. This new battery will increase the purely electric driving range of the top-of-the-line model S500 to 50 kilometers- up from some 35 kilometers in today’s version.


According to Daimler R&D top executive Thomas Weber, the company plans to invest €14.5 billion euros into research and development activities, with more than 50% of this sum are dedicated to the development of green technologies.


The most remarkable move in Daimler’s roadmap with dozens of minor steps towards electrification will certainly be the combo powertrain for the model GLC F-Cell: An industry first, the carmaker will combine the advantages of fuel cell drive and plug-in hybrid. The fuel cell will charge a new lithium battery with a capacity of bout 9 kWh which still is not overly large. But the car will be able to be re-charged via a normal household power outlet, which gives the car an electric range of some 500 kilometers, a value that makes it competitive with conventional vehicles in terms of range.


Daimler is also about to develop a model-spanning architecture for all of its battery electric vehicles. The first cars whose design will be based on this new architecture will be available before the end of the decade. In this context, the company’s press release highlighted the Fuso Canter E-Cell light truck which entered commercial fleet testing already in 2015. The company did not provide many details about this architecture. It however will enable customizable electromobility across all vehicle