Daimler is reportedly preparing six, and as many as nine, electric car models to directly compete with Tesla and Audi.
That statement – made by a person familiar with the matter and published by Reuters – ties in with another recent report from Automobilwoche, a sister publication to Automotive News Europe. Automobilwoche said that company sources revealed Daimler would be rolling out more than six electric car models between 2018 and 2024.
Specific timing and other details of the six-to-nine models remains yet shrouded therefore, but this now makes two major media sources reporting Daimler is readying these electric cars as it faces challenges by competitors, and regulations calling for cleaner emissions.
Next on the agenda is Daimler is scheduled to unveil a new electric car model at the Paris motor show in late September. The German automaker has been releasing teasers on its next wave of electric cars coming out for several months. The unveiled model could be a sport utility vehicle or a sedan. It may be an all-electric car with 310 miles of range, at least by European NEDC estimates that would be shorter range than an EPA estimate. Another possibility is that it will be the first model of new all-electric brand, which Daimler told media about in June.
Another unknown is whether these six-to-nine new electric models will be all-electric or a mix of electric cars and plug-in hybrid vehicles. As for direct competition, Tesla does only build all-electric models, while Audi is planning to produce a mix of all-electric and plug-in hybrid options.
The Reuters report is likely referring to all-electric models, and the news article does break out a reference to a plug-in hybrid system. The unnamed source also told Reuters that Daimler’s Mercedes brand will be making an SUV model with a plug-in hybrid engine powered by electricity generated by hydrogen in its fuel cell system.
Mercedes revealed more of its electric car plans last month at the Monterey Car Week in Pebble Beach, Calif., and as seen in the photo. The Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 concept will be designed with a shallow underfloor battery allowing a range of over 200 miles according to EPA (and over 500 kilometers according to the NEDC), Mercedes said.
Daimler and other German automakers are stepping up to being more competitive in luxury electric cars due to Tesla’s strong presence in the market, and the aftermath of the Volkswagen emissions reporting cheating scandal. Technology breakthroughs offering longer range batteries is getting companies such as Volkswagen, Daimler and automotive suppliers such as Bosch and Continental, to invest more in electric car technologies.