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Mercedes-Benz accelerates in electric car race with Tesla By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A charging port is seen on a Mercedes Benz EQC 400 4Matic electric vehicle at the Canadian International AutoShow in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on February 13, 2019. REUTERS / Mark Blinch / File Photo

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By Nick Carey

LONDON (Reuters) -Mercedes-Benz maker Daimler (OTC 🙂 plans to invest more than 40 billion euros ($ 47 billion) by 2030 to be prepared to take on Tesla (NASDAQ 🙂 in a car market. All-electric, but warned the Change in technology would lead to job cuts.

Describing his strategy for an electric future, the inventor of the modern car said Thursday that, with his partners, he would build eight battery plants as production of electric vehicles (EVs) increases.

Starting in 2025, all new vehicle platforms will only make electric vehicles, the German luxury automaker added.

“We really want to do it … and be predominantly, if not fully electric, by the end of the decade,” Chief Executive Ola Källenius told Reuters, adding that spending on traditional combustion engine technology would be “close to zero” . “by 2025.

However, Daimler, which will be renamed Mercedes-Benz as part of plans to spin off its trucking division later this year, failed to set a strict deadline for ending sales of fossil fuel cars.

Some automakers like Geely-owned Volvo Cars have pledged to be fully electric by 2030, while General Motors Co (NYSE 🙂 says it aims to be fully electric by 2035, as they all try to close the gap with the industry leader Tesla.

“We need to move the debate away from when the last combustion engine is built because it is not relevant,” Källenius said. “The question is how fast can you scale to close to 100% electricity and that’s what we’re focusing on.”

Daimler shares rose as much as 2.5% after the news, which comes just over a week after the European Union proposed an effective ban on the sale of new gasoline and diesel cars starting in 2035 as part. of a comprehensive package of measures to combat global warming.

Before the EU announcement, automakers had announced a number of major investments in electric vehicles. Earlier this month, Stellantis said it would invest more than € 30 billion by 2025 to electrify its line.

DIFFICULT DECISIONS

At Mercedes-Benz, the shift will see an 80% drop in investments in combustion engines and plug-in hybrid technologies between 2019 and 2026, which, according to the group, would have a direct impact on jobs.

Electric vehicles have fewer components and therefore require fewer workers than vehicles with a combustion engine.

“A transformation of our workforce will involve difficult decisions. Yes, overall we must and will reduce our personal costs,” said Sabine Kohleisen, a member of the Mercedes-Benz board of directors and director of human resources.

Daimler said that starting in 2025, it expects electric and hybrid cars to account for 50% of sales, and fully electric cars are expected to account for the majority of that, ahead of its previous forecast that this would happen by 2030.

The automaker will introduce three electric platforms, one to cover its range of passenger cars and SUVs, one for trucks and one for high-performance vehicles, to be launched in 2025.

Daimler is also acquiring the British firm YASA Limited to help develop high-performance electric motors.

The company said it would build 200 gigawatt hours (GWh) of battery cell capacity. Four of its new battery plants will be in Europe and one in the United States.

Daimler said it will soon announce new European partners for its battery production plans.

The EU has been pushing hard to develop battery capacity to counter China’s dominance in battery production.

Its rival Volkswagen AG (OTC 🙂 plans to build half a dozen battery cell plants in Europe.

Daimler said that, as part of its electrification strategy, it would build a battery recycling plant in Kuppenheim, Germany, which would start operating in 2023 ($ 1 = € 0.8481).

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