Batteries included: Mercedes, VW pledge allegiance to electrification


Mercedes-Benz EQA concept, 2017 Frankfurt auto show

Mercedes-Benz EQA concept, 2017 Frankfurt auto show

Enlarge Photo

The 2017 Frankfurt Auto Show was full of new cars and futuristic designs, but one word hummed in the background: electrification.

Many major automakers announced that they would produce more electric or electrified vehicles in the near future, while others doubled down on moving to fully electrified portfolios with a self-imposed date. Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen Group were the latest.

Both German automakers announced their plans to move to a fully electrified lineup over the next decade at the show's preview days last week. Mercedes-Benz said by 2022 all of its cars will offer an electrified option; VW said that its entire portfolio of 300 cars would be electrified by 2030.

“By 2022, we’ll have the entire Mercedes-Benz product portfolio in an electrified version as well, to offer a maximum of choices for our consumers. The time is right,” Dieter Zetsche, chief of Mercedes-Benz parent-company Daimler, told Autocar.

Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz join a growing list of automakers that plan for electrified ranges including Volvo, Jaguar, Lincoln, and others.

Volkswagen ID Crozz II concept, 2017 Frankfurt auto show

Volkswagen ID Crozz II concept, 2017 Frankfurt auto show

Enlarge Photo

Additionally, Volkswagen Group plans for 80 electrified cars across its vast portfolio of brands by 2025, which includes Volkswagen, Audi, Lamborghini, Skoda, and more. Motor1 reports 50 of these new vehicles will be purely battery-electric, and 30 will be plug-in hybrids.

Before the auto show opened to the public, VW Group CEO Matthias Muller told journalists that the automaker would spend about $24 billion in upgrades that include a battery facility. Muller said the facility would be roughly 4 times bigger than Tesla's "Gigafactory."

“This is not some vague declaration of intent. It is a strong self-commitment which, from today, becomes the yardstick by which we measure our performance," Muller said.

Both Muller and Zetsche said that internal combustion engines, including diesel powertrains, would help the automakers realize their electrification goals in the future.

 
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