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Mercedes-Benz Is Planning A Sub-Brand For Electric Models

mercedes-benz

Recent reports have indicated that known luxury car maker Mercedes-Benz is gearing up to build an entire sub-brand for electric vehicles, following the success of Tesla’s luxury EVs. It seems the German automaker wants to cash in to what was once perceived to be merely a hype tech geeks, engineers and moguls have created.

Last June, Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Mercedes-Benz’s parent company Daimler, said that the automaker plans to introduce its first EV at the Paris Motor Show in October. According to reports, the model would be a direct competition to the Tesla Model S, and will have a 310-mile range either to meet or exceed what the Tesla model can deliver.

Expected to be built in Germany, Merc’s new EV will carry whatever moniker the automaker conceives to challenge BMW’s i label.

Tesla’s Model 3 currently has 373,000 reservations, so it’s fairly obvious this is not merely a trend. Mercedes wants to capitalize on that interest, and the timing now is just about right.

But to get to that point, the company has to invest extensively in research and development toward EVs. This is in part of the German automaker’s larger plan to boost its R&D spending from $6.3 billion in 2014 and $7.3 billion in 2015.

Passenger cars are not the only vehicles Daimler is looking to turn into electric-based. The Urban e-Truck prototype has proven that electric distribution is already a must in deliveries within the city.

Mercedes-Benz is not exactly oblivious of what Tesla has been doing. Its parent company Daimler has invested heavily in Tesla, and in fact earns a 10-percent stake in Tesla Motors in 2010, though its remaining 4 percent was sold in 2014.

It has even purchased Tesla batteries for the B-Class Electric and Tesla was the one that developed the whole propulsion system for the early version of Smart Electric Drive.

LAPD To Use 100 BMW i3 EVs

BMW i3

What could possibly make the Los Angeles Police Department even more glamorous than it already is? You know, protecting the rich and famous of Hollywood is also a lot about having the right machinery, and by hooking up with BMW to get the i3 EVs, LAPD just purchased the perfect partner.

And what can top having a BMW for a police fleet? Having an electrically charged BMW. LAPD is even answering to the United Nations’ great call of reducing carbon dioxide emission, and using electric cars instead of gasoline-powered ones.

BMW’s i3 will be LAPD’s first electric vehicle. The German brand beat out Tesla for the opportunity to roam the streets of Los Angeles. Now, LA residents can enjoy seeing the cute little i3 on the road.

The purchase of the i3 is part of LA’s initiative to convert 80 percent of all its municipal vehicles into electrically powered ones by 2025. And since this is the police department’s first EV, the purchase also includes 100 Level 2 chargers and four DC fast chargers. This will ensure that the i3s are charged up and won’t be missing power while on the road.

The i3s won’t be used for emergency calls, though. Neither will it be used to hunt down and run after perpetrators. The BMW i3 EVs will essentially be used for non-emergency calls for now. Although, who knows in the future how BMW will plan to upgrade the vehicle?

LAPD’s primary problem with the i3s’ capacity to respond to 911 calls is their need to be plugged in overnight to recharge. Emergency calls, of course, can happen even in the middle of the night.

So for now, emergency calls and running after suspects in LAPD would remain to be a job for the Ford Crown Victoria that may or may not be equipped with the Ford Police Interceptor utilities. There are also a couple of other sedans and Chargers from Dodge.

Source: Car And Driver

Mercedes-Benz To Introduce Four Electric Vehicles By 2020

mercedes-benz glc fuel cell

Mercedes-Benz is looking at releasing four electric vehicles by the end of the year 2020. Sources said the company will be producing two sedans and two SUVs to comprise the first tranche of electronically powered vehicles Merc is looking at developing.

Each electric vehicle model will share the basic elements of models already part of Merc’s current lineup, but the company also promised that the models will have distinct designs to set them apart from their conventionally powered counterparts.

This move came on the heels of the German government’s announcement of sales subsidies for all EVs priced at less than €60,000, or $67,150 based on current exchange rate.

This German government policy is part of the bigger scheme to attract would-be buyers to consider EVs instead of gasoline- or diesel-powered engines.

Of course, such a decision from Merc can also be seen as the company’s attempt to keep up with the fast-rising EV market, something other automakers have taken advantage of in the past months. Tesla Model 3’s 370,000 orders certainly made an impact.

Merc has reportedly taken a €500 million expansion of their existing battery production facilities in Germany to prepare for their EV plans.

Although not a surprise, Merc’s move is still a welcome development. There are no details released regarding this new direction the company is taking, but R&D chief Thomas Weber hinted that the current C-Class and S-Class models, as well as the GLA and GLC SUVs, will be the templates for the four EVs planned.

In particular, the GLA-based SUV model will tap the reworked version of the MFA platform that Merc is already using on its B-Class Electric Drive, which is technically Mercedes’ first EV. The other three models, on the other hand, will probably use the evolved version of the MRA, which was developed particularly for electronic vehicles.

Audi To Launch 300-Mile Fully Electric SUV In 2018

audi electric suv

It’s that time of the year again when Audi starts churning out reports on deliveries—said to be 1.8 million cars in 2015 and 620,100 in the first quarter of this year)—as well as big investment plans for the future. Prospective plans will start at €3billion in property and technology in 2016.

Then, of course, there’s also news of a new car. Audi revealed it will begin launching a new EV every year starting 2018. The initial plan is to launch a sporty SUV that claims to have a range of more than 500 kilometers (310.69 miles). That’s more than what the Tesla Model S, which currently stands at a highway range of 303.2 miles, can do. That is according to the US Environmental Protection Agency.

But this isn’t much of a surprise since Audi announced at last year’s Frankfurt Motor Show the arrival of the E-ton Quattro Concept, which will be in production in a few months’ time. What’s even better is that the production car will be patterned perfectly after the concept, which will have two electric motors—one for each axle with a combined 503bhp.

Audi also claims it would have 4.6 secs to 62 mph, 131 mph and that 310-mile range.

Although this isn’t a surprising development, it’s still nice to see Audi keeping its word.

Audi hinted of a new A8 too, which would be one of the 20 “new or upgraded” Audis to come out this year. The A8 is going to be the first car in the brand’s history capable of “piloted driving.”

Details are not exactly out there yet, but it looks like the A8 will be able to drive itself temporarily on motorways at speeds of up to 37 mph—a technology already available in the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class. It remains to be seen how Audi is going to utilize this same technology on its cars.

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