Start with upper Managers and there travel accounts.
A lot of people were wondering why the traditional car makers weren't more eager to fight Tesla and come up with a similar product that was just as good. Well, for once, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO, Mr. Sergio Marchionne, was right: the big car companies need to have profit, and at that time, an EV model simply wouldn't have been able to offer that.
Things haven't changed that much, but the cost associated with the development of an electric car has gone down. The main problem so far has been the lithium-ion battery cells, but their manufacturing price has gone down lately ($350 per kWh, compared to $1,000 in 2010), and continues to do so. Apart from that, an electric car is actually cheaper to build than a conventional one.
However, the launch of an all-electric brand is going to require some major infrastructure investments and Daimler AG knows it all too well. Speaking in front of reporters in Hamburg yesterday evening, CEO Dieter Zetsche acknowledged the challenge ahead and revealed that Mercedes-Benz is "fighting" to cut expenses to 13 billion euros for 2017, down from 14 billion this year.
The Stuttgart-based manufacturer has a lot more on its plate than just the serious focus on EVs, as the ever stricter regulations mean that its fossil-fuel engines also need a lot of attention (another word for "money") if their emissions are to be kept within limits. “We cannot stop advancing combustion engine technology, even if 25 percent of vehicles sold in 2025 are e-cars, as 75 percent won’t be,” Dr. Zetsche said, quoted by Automotive News.
Unlike Renault who is considering the decision to cut its costs and give up on diesel engines altogether (after years of heavy investments), Mercedes-Benz isn't ready to do that. This means battery development and finding ways to cut down NOx emissions will have to go hand in hand for the company's R&D department for a while.
Read more: EV Branching Puts Financial Strain on Mercedes-Benz, CEO Plans Budget Cuts - autoevolution