Daimler Bullish On Electric Vehicles In China

3 years ago by Mark Kane 6

We Checked Out The Daimler/DENA EV Earlier This Year In Beijing At Auto China 2014

We Checked Out The Daimler/DENA EV Earlier This Year In Beijing At Auto China 2014

According to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, Daimler strongly believes in high sales of  new energy vehicles (read EVs and PHEVs) in China.

2014 Smart ED

2014 Smart ED

This commitment comes despite that last year sales of cars with electrified propulsion systems amounted to only 17,642 units in China and with such slow progress the government target of 500,000 in 2015 is out of range.

However, the situation is changing now as the government set significant incentives for NEVs and committed to buy at least 30% electric and hybrids cars for the arious government fleets.

Hubertus Troska, member of Daimler’s board of management responsible for China, stated:

“Twelve months ago, a lot of the regulations were not out.”

“I really think the determination of the Chinese government makes a lot of sense, and you will see a significant amount of electric vehicles. There is a lot of active support, and that makes me confident.”

Daimler is selling in China the smart fortwo electric drive, which is the first series-produced EV imported to China from Europe.

DENZA EV Front Dash Cluster (from Auto China 2014)

DENZA EV Front Dash Cluster (from Auto China 2014)

DENZA EV Rear Seating

DENZA EV Rear Seating

The second model is now being introduced under the new brand Denza built together with BYD. BYD itself is selling more than 1,000 Qin plug-in hybrids a month these days and the automaker has its e6 all-electric on the market too.

The DENZA EV has a reported range of 190 miles and costs as low as 252,000 renminbi or $40,900 after local rebates.  Our initial impressions on that car from Beijing earlier this year can be found here.  (Hint: we were very surprised)

The first electric Mercedes in China could be a plug-in hybrid version of the C-class:

“Daimler also will sell some imported electric cars under its Mercedes-Benz and Smart brands in China and is looking to locally produce a plug-in hybrid version of its C-class sedan. Rival auto maker Audi announced in April that it plans to produce a plug-in sedan in China.”

“To help pave the way for more imported and locally produced plug-in hybrids, Daimler will establish a plug-in hybrid laboratory in Beijing. The facility, which is expected to open by the beginning of next year, will cost €15 million, according to Ulrich Zillmann, general manager of the research and development center of Daimler’s China car manufacturing joint venture, Beijing Benz Automotive Co.”

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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6 responses to "Daimler Bullish On Electric Vehicles In China"

  1. Mikael says:

    18k in 2013
    55k in 2014
    120k in 2015

    Any takers on a bet against those numbers? 😉

    1. Mikael says:

      Sales that is, not total number of EV’s on the road.

    2. DaveMart says:

      They should take off like a rocket if this sticks:

      ‘China is mandating that electric cars make up at least 30 percent of government vehicle purchases by 2016, the latest measure to fight pollution and cut energy use after exempting the autos from a purchase tax.’

      http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-07-13/china-targets-30-new-government-vehicles-use-alternative-energy.html

      I’ve got no idea how many government vehicles there are in China, but with a population of well over a billion, civil servants and so on have to number the same as a medium size country such as France themselves.

      We are surely talking hundreds of thousands of vehicles a year as it takes off, just for government vehicles.

    3. Bonaire says:

      Low priced ones, sure. If the government installs lots and lots of charge points – Kandi and BYD will clean up selling $20K USD priced cars, or lots of NEVs, rentals, car shares and so on.

      We don’t sell such lower priced cars in the USA due to NHTSA crash test ratings. The i-MiEV is a small and light car and should sell well in Asia but in the USA, we ignore such a car due to small size and it being lightweight. We are a bit fearful of the “imminent crash” and need big, safe and sturdy vehicles (ones that make us feel safe even if we smash into someone else and wipe them out).

  2. ffbj says:

    Yes, and China is famous/infamous for going in whole hog in these sorts of endeavors. Social engineering on a massive scale. Well the communist party has around a million members,so most of them will probably want one, you know to show their party loyalty and that they are in support of the state.

    1. Mikael says:

      Imagine if the US big corporations and lobby groups that own the politicians and decide peoples opinions there would use their power for good then there would be another million or two EV’s on the road.