Electrification is the hot topic these days for the mainstream manufacturers. The technology is developing at such a rate that in the very near future, most popular models will have a hybrid or EV option within the range. The rapid introduction of electrification has led some of the biggest manufacturers to pledge massive investment. Mercedes-Benz are the latest, announcing the allocation of €20 billion ($23 billion) to the purchase and development of battery cells together with a further €1 billion ($1.1 billion) in eight battery factories in Germany, China, Thailand and the United States.
The ultimate goal for Mercedes-Benz is to offer an electric or hybrid version of all its models by 2022. The investment ensures that it has sufficient supplies for this, at least until 2030. The target for Mercedes-Benz is to have 130 electric and hybrid models by 2022, in addition to electric vans, buses and trucks.
Rival German manufacturer Volkswagen recently announced a similar €50 billion ($57 billion) investment in group technology which will benefit the likes of Volkswagen, Audi, Bentley and, possibly, Lamborghini. It is understood that BMW’s investment in batteries and electrification is on a similar scale. The likes of Ford, Renault, Nissan and Fiat Chrysler are also known to be heavily investing in technology.
Mercedes-Benz recently released the EQC, an all electric version of the GLC. It is the first of 10 pure electric vehicles to come from the German manufacturer. The 5 seat SUV rivals the Tesla Model X, Jaguar I-Pace and recently release Audi E-tron Quattro. This in itself was a major engineering project with more than 200 prototypes built and millions of kilometres driven in development miles. Electrification is big business!