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All Tests

Mercedes - Daimler 2020

This press release is a bit superficial. The suspicion arises that it is perhaps intended to divert attention from something. Even in one small paragraph, the word 'sustainable' appears three times. One might have expected more concrete details about electric vehicles to be released next year. Instead, the Group CEO (see below) mentions a single model, the big EQS. We can continue to wait with bated breath for the much-needed EQA and EQB.

If anything is clear, it is that with Daimler a lot of things are unclear. What effort they did with the fuel cell, just the known number of prototypes, which became smaller and smaller. And when they were finally ready, they very half-heartedly shipped it into a GLC and beefed up the range with an additional battery, which would have driven the necessary price into infinity.

The car rightly never really appeared on the market; Toyota and Hyundai are now engaged in a price war. The project had already been shelved, but apparently subsidies from the German government have meant that it is now being taken up again for the truck sector. The same goes for the money. Sometimes Daimler sells like crazy and is swimming in money, then again they say they have a cost problem. In the podcast, Källenius downgrades that to a savings target of 20 per cent for the future.

Not a word about the challenges posed by the CO2 penalty tax. The 2019 fleet figure has increased yet again to a supposed 137 g/km. These are the true figures when you talk about 95 g/km. They then spoil the raison d'être of the smaller cars. And yet Mercedes is likely to break the bar. Let's see if we learn anything about the fines that will be due. All three premium manufacturers are lucky that plug-ins are very often counted among the e-cars.

Incidentally, also when Källenius talks about the plans for the charging infrastructure. Practically only green electricity is to be used to fill up a Mercedes. What this has to do with the PlugIns remains a mystery. Does the CEO really believe that such cars would be refuelled on the road? There is also a strong assumption that the batteries will be large. The EQS is supposed to cover up to 700 km. Always these promises. But again, not a word about whether it can also charge quickly. Unlike Porsche, it is not supposed to have 800V technology.

So where does that leave the conviction that luxury in future is not opulence, but pure technology plus elegance. Is the Maybach a good example of this? Or perhaps AMG? Nothing is heard about how the future is envisioned there. Instead, they enjoy the perception of being perceived as a separate manufacturer alongside Porsche, for example. There will certainly be hybrid variants, but one should not expect a range of up to 100 km because of the additional weight. In concrete terms, only a sporty version of the EQS is promised. Will AMG be able to even begin to demonstrate its capabilities in the internal combustion engine sector?

Källenius mentions the British forge for its F1 successes and wants to see its skills incorporated into future e-projects. This completely ignores the fact that from now on only one third of the shares in Petronas will be held, because with the manufacturer of light petrol for the chemical industry INEOS, a third partner has been brought on board alongside Toto Wolff.

Daimler has already managed to pat itself on the back for F1 superiority, not just in half, but almost entirely as the originator. At the moment there is a commercial showing Lewis Hamilton in the S-Class. on a country road in the middle of nowhere to push an old Saab. The S-Class in the service of humanity. It is illogical why a Saab should be parked there and not be able to start again under its own power. but should be made afloat again by the thrust of a seven-time world champion.

It is also strange that Mercedes produces the most cars by far, ahead of BMW and Audi, but BMW manages to sell the most hybrids worldwide. And according to forecasts, this does not seem to change at least until 2025, on the contrary. No, they want to become more sustainable. CO2-neutral by 2039, also valid for all suppliers, influencing supply chains. But they obviously don't want to participate in the research for new batteries, they just continue to build the boxes for them and call it battery production.

Of course, a car manufacturer is allowed to dream, maybe even has to. But if they even envisage the future e-drive without a break from Stuttgart to Rome, then they have not (yet) realised that the development may not go towards huge battery packs after all, if only because with a Class B driving licence you are only allowed to drive vehicles with a maximum permissible mass of 3.5 tonnes. Daimler drivers, too, must therefore be prepared for more breaks, which is rather a gain for road safety.

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