Daimler's Sustainability Drive Races Ahead With EV Technology

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - German automaker Daimler is keenly aware that the future of driving is electric. In order to pave the way for this new era of sustainable transport, the company is investing in battery technology and​ has a pipeline of new battery electric vehicles to prepare for a new era of ​clean driving.​

Perhaps one of the most indicative news about the company's ambitions is the partnership Daimler has started with Vivint Solar in Utah, one of the largest residential solar companies in the U.S. According to media reports, through this partnership Daimler enters the domestic energy storage market, a strategic move on the part of Daimler's battery business as it enables EV users to source their electricity via solar systems, therefore reduce their greenhouse emissions in a significant way.

Parallel to this entry in the American market with storage systems, Daimler unveiled at the Paris Motor Show last year the Concept EQ (pictured), the prototype of a new generation of battery EVs. The model is expected to be manufactured in the next few years and its architecture can be installed into any kind of vehicle, from SUVs to sport convertibles, Daimler says.

At the event, the company also displayed models that are already available, such as the smart “fortwo" electric drive and it says it will be the only car manufacturer worldwide to offer its model range with both combustion engines and pure battery-electric drive.

Looking ahead, in 2018 Daimler plans to launch an electric version of the Citaro short-distance bus. With a range of 300 kilometers, this bus can cover most regular-service routes.

Trucks are also in the pipeline in the shape of the Fuso E-CELL. Still this year, Daimler will launch the third generation of this battery-electric light truck, with an enhanced electric motor and a greater range.

Looking further ahead, Daimler says it will invest more than €10 billion in the expansion of its electric fleet and launch ten new electric vehicles on the market by 2025. It says it will focus on more future-oriented technologies, putting €1 billion on the production of batteries for electric cars alone. For that purpose, Daimler is currently building a second battery factory in Kamenz, Germany, to boost its capacity and logistics space fourfold.

It is also surging ahead with stationary energy storage units. In Hanover, for example, the company is currently combining 3,000 new replacement battery modules, which are built for smart electric drive vehicles, into a super-large stationary system. Elsewhere, in the city of Lünen, 1,000 used batteries from smart fortwo electric drive vehicles together form the world’s largest second-use battery storage system. These technologies improve the green credentials of electric driving and tackle grid fluctuation issues linked to the generation of power from renewable energy sources.

Finally, Daimler is collaborating with other auto giants such as VW, BMW and Ford on a superfast high-performance charging network on Europe's main traffic arteries. This could see the company instal thousands of charging stations by 2020, with a charging power of up to 350 kW, providing a much faster recharge.

Image source: Daimler