Daimler CEO: “Tesla Is One of the Best Investments We Have Ever Made”


Daimler CEO Zetsche at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show

Daimler CEO Zetsche at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show

“We set out with Tesla already strategic issues to be and to do so in future.  Tesla is one of the best investments we have ever made.”

Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive in Geneva - Powered by Tesla

Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive in Geneva – Powered by Tesla

Stated Daimler CEO Deiter Zetsche to Automobil Produktion at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show.

If you recall, Daimler recently hedged its position in Tesla against the possibility of a loss.

As Automobil Produktion reports:

“Back in December of last year, Daimler had strengthened its partnership with the U.S. electric carmaker. For this purpose, the Stuttgart [aka Daimler] had entered into an agreement to hedge price risks with a term of three years on the approximately four percent Tesla share.”

So, Daimler is protecting itself, but that doesn’t mean that the German automaker is unsatisfied with it Tesla investment.

In fact, it’s the opposite for Daimler, who last October announced that it was seeking ways to expand upon its initial deal with Tesla.  And with Zetsche stating that “Tesla is one of the best investments” Daimler has ever made, we suspect further deals will be inked in the near future.

Source: Automobil Produktion

Categories: Mercedes, Tesla


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28 Comments on "Daimler CEO: “Tesla Is One of the Best Investments We Have Ever Made”"

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Will the b clas have supercharging capability?

No. I spoke with the B-Class product manager in Geneva last week and that isn’t happening now or ever. The B-Class Electric Drive will launch without DC fast charge capabilities but is is possible Daimler will add it (CCS) in the future. However it does have 10kW L2 charging which will fully charge the battery in less than 4 hours. Of course that isn’t a replacement for DCQC, but it does help for everyday charging if you have access to an L2 EVSE that can supply 48amps.

that’s a misstep on their part. QC is becoming a must have feature.

That’s 40A on USA power systems. It’s allegedly the same on-board charger as the Tesla Model S and RAV4 EV. It limits the charge to the lower of 40A or 10kW on the AC side.

The battery pack for the B-Class is 28 kWh, with an option for 41 kWh. With current battery technology, 2C (at a speed 2x the powerrating of the pack) is maximum DCFC charging rate. https://insideevs.com/is-mercedes-benz-pulling-a-tesla-by-offering-optional-bigger-battery-pack-in-b-class-electric-drive/c

eg: 60 kWh Model S charges at a max of 90-120 kW at low SOC, but reduces as SOC increases.

2C on 28 kWh which means 50-60 kW DCFC which is similar to CHAdeMO / Combo but to Supercharge would require at least a 4C rating.

With an option for 41? What??

It is not physically possible really. As Brian pointed out, you need a bigger battery to accept such a high charging rate. That is another one of Tesla’s little tricks that makes their cars perform better but will be hard to replicate on the smaller-batteried Model E.

Tesla has not said what the battery capacity of the Model E will be. They’ve only said that the battery will be physically smaller and that you don’t need as much batterycto get the same range. But for Supercharging, you want more capacity to allow faster charging.

I am assuming they own stock in Tesla. If so, then yes.. obviously it was a good investment.

Yeh but they probably didn’t make much money on it if they hedged against a big decline.

They acquired the stock before Telsa was public, so figure it was somewhere around the $15 per share range. I think it was $50 mil for a 5% stake in Tesla. That stake has been diluted to 4% now and worth $1.25 billion.

They hedged in the last couple months, so they made at least a billion on the Tesla investment.

Given those ground rules then yes they made money, but don’t forget hedging isn’t free.

NO argument that it was better than “Diamler Chryler” where they lost at least 2/3 of their investment….

Why pay for it at all? Fiat basically got Chrysler for free. But then it helps that you’ve got connected families running the show. Hehe, a bit tangential to this topic, but I like the fact that Sergio’s shake down of the Provincial gov’t of Ontario and the federal Canadian Gov’t backfired, and they’re now (FIAT Chrysler) are going to stay in Canada WITHOUT additional gov’t largess.

A shakedown is a shakedown. I don’t care that he is supposedly paid by Chrysler $1 per annum.

If they could get on the supercharger highway they win big, but I doubt that Tesla would have included that in the deal, or that Daimler would have thought to ask.

I can’t imagine Tesla allowing anyone to use their Supercharger network, regardless of what they charge them to do so.

It will not make Tesla owners happy when they pull up to a supercharger location and find there are three cars waiting in front of them to plug in, so now a 45 minute stop to charge is two hours. There aren’t a lot of Model S’s out there now so the Supercharger locations aren’t bottle-necking up yet, but they will as more cars are sold.

Tesla can’t let anyone else use their Supercharger network. Their customers would not be happy if they did.

Tesla is offering the network to others. It is a pay-up-front model, so they can use the money to build out a bigger network. More cars, but more stations…per-station utilization should remain constant. It is the same way thenetwork will work when Tesla builds 10x as many Model E. Tesla owners would be happy to see that.

I absolutely can see it. Having other manufacturers jump on board and help build their networkvwould be very welcome. More cars just means more Superchargers,

The B-Class not having Supercharging is more a limitation imposed by battery size than anything to do with Tesla. Eg: The 40 kWh Model S did not feature Supercharging for same reasons the 28/40 kWh B-Class does not. (see my comment above)

Tesla has stated they are willing to license their technologies. Expect Tesla would be willing to host Supercharging if another manufacture would offer 60+ kWh battery pack and paid Tesla an access fee per EV.

More EVs using Supercharging is a positive move for Tesla as it means fewer EVs using alternative networks. For a EV manufacture after 2014, adding Supercharging capability means gaining access to a global charging network, or working with a regional patchwork of networks.

DC fast charging can technically be offered for any size battery.

Nissan offers it on their 24 kWh Leaf, and Mitsubishi offers DC fast charging on their 16 kWh iMiev and their Outlander PHEV (about 8 kWh).


So is this another hint that MBZ is the lead prospect to buy Tesla when it’s up for sale in 2017-18?

Personally I believe if Tesla were to be bought by a major OEM, then Daimler will be the one to do so.

I’d rather not see that happen, but if it does, Daimler is the obvious choice.

yeah.. I’d rather see Apple get it than Daimler.

Don’t forget Google and its self-driving car projects.

Curiously while patting Tesla on the back Daimler isn’t planning on doing a Model S rival itself. Instead it’s hedging against future losses on its Tesla investment. The fact that nobody in the industry is planning a Model S rival and Daimler’s curious behaviour suggests to me that the industry is still betting on Tesla’s eventual demise.

Yep, BMW is going whole hog with lightweighting and wants to be carbon-fiber supplier to major automakers.

Daimler’s behavior is SOP for any large investment.


It would have been even better if they had not sold so many of their shares off early for a much lower price than it is now.

I can foresee Tesla becoming a part of Fiat.