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Mercedes-Benz concept BlueZero - Click above for high-res image gallery

In 2008 Daimler and Evonik announced their plans for a joint venture to produce lithium ion batteries for the automaker's upcoming hybrid and electric vehicles. What may be a combination of confidence in the technology and fear of upcoming CO2 regulations is apparently prompting the partners to dramatically scale up production plans. The two companies will invest an extra €200 million to expand cell production from the originally-announced 300,000 units in 2011 to 2.9 million by 2013.

By 2013, automakers doing business in Europe will have to achieve fleet average CO2 emissions of 130 g/km. However, if Daimler remains at 160 g/km – as it is today – it will have to pay up over €2 billion in fines. Producing more electric and hybrid vehicles would allow it to dramatically reduce those fines.



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  • 21 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      2.9 million cells is a substantial number, that would be like 11,600 Volt packs.
      harlanx6
      • 5 Years Ago
      Nobody is dragging their feet on EVs. Everyone would like to have one that is as comfortable and has as much range as their E class, but that car doesn't exist except for the wealthy. Everyone has a crash program to develop EVs, knowing the majority of the market will not buy them because they're too small, have no range, and are a pain in the ass to recharge. The automakers are in a lose-lose situation. Let the Europeans handicap their auto makers on the world market. The Asians and Americans will take up the slack. It doesn't matter what the socialists do, we are going to be driving ICE vehicles or hybrids for at least a decade. By then hopefully EV technology will have caught up to the demand. You aren't going to give me that CO2 in the atmosphere, sky is falling crap are you? I have run that by my bullsh*t test and it just doesn't pass.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @harlanx6
        I have seen plenty of foot dragging.

        Ford, Chrysler and GM all putting their eggs into the SUV basket only to see it fall apart when gas hit $4+ USD per gallon.

        The killing of the Saturn EV1.

        Those are just the big ones that stand out in my mind at the moment
        • 7 Months Ago
        @harlanx6
        "If BEVs were as easy to build and sell as many posters here believe, why don't they build them themselves? Go to the bank, show them your business plan, get some capital, and start building!"

        Because it takes a few hundred million dollars to develop one, put it through the crash tests to get it certified for the road, and then produce them. And then, it's going to be unrealistically expensive because you won't have a mass production factory cranking them out. Hence the "hump" that kept EV's off the market for so long (and Chevron's NiMH patent preventing manufacturers from using them).

        The major automakers (the ones with enough capital to be able to overcome this "hump") are dragging their feet because they have invested billions in making ICE's and when EV's come out all that capital investment will be a waste of money.

        "You are right on one thing: it is going to take *at least* 10 years to see practical affordable EVs from most manufacturers."

        Actually, we will have one out this year: the Nissan Leaf. Gasoline prices will "fuel" the transition to EV's from then on. I predict it will be a swift transition once it gets going. Once there are enough EV's out there such that most people will have had a chance to ride in one and see that their fears about EV's are not warranted, the market will switch really fast. And by then, in 5 years, production maturity and technology will have advanced to the point where manufacturers will be able to meet demand and the cars will be really good.

        Nissan and Tesla have seen this transition and they will be on the cusp of the shift and will get rich as a result, providing Tesla can manage to get costs down in time to outcompete the big automakers' economy of scale advantage. Either China and India will supply that demand, or we will. This is why we should be "forcing" manufacturers, great socialists we are, into making EV's, because they don't want to. They have no interest in the 10 year economic horizon for N America and Europe, they are interested in profit over the next 3 years and developing EV's cuts into that.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @harlanx6
        Wait. Maybe I shouldn't recommend EVsuperhero's converters... they're taking a beating right now...

        http://www.blyon.com/blog/index.php/2009/12/31/ev_innovations_crooks/

        http://www.autoblog.com/2010/01/01/tech-entrepreneur-finds-a-lemon-in-his-quest-for-an-ev/1#comments

        EVsuperhero, I think I remember telling you that if most people had the problems you had, the company would get sued. Well, it's happening, and it's a real shame.
        • 7 Months Ago
        @harlanx6
        letstalkawalk,

        Well it is good to hear more about the EVI. One way or the other. Why didn't this owner put his vehicle on the EV Album? It would not have helped me avoid the company as we purchased at the same time. Why does ABG post it on the gas car part of the website? You can't just put the fuzzy stuff on here?

        Anyway it is a shame. A bad rep is hard to overcome as was mentioned on the Thundersky post.

        You will always hear the complainers more than the people with good experiences. In the first year I have had my car 2/3rds of the time EVI has had it 1/3rd. Now is a good time to make sure they add the four months back to the time part of the 2 yr 24,000 warranty. Which I am sure they will, they are reasonable people. Wait I guess it is Lion something now? That is three name changes, can't be good.

        Well the bottom line for me is I was always able to drive the car and it did not leave me stranded. If I didn't mind leaking gear box fluid all over the place I would still be driving it now instead of shipping it back for repairs. To bad I like the people that are building and working on these cars and still take my hat off to them for attempting this. They are on the other side of the US and my car takes 2 months to be repaired. In a way I wish I had waited and in a way I am still glad to be able to drive on electricity now. Well not right now.

        If the gear box leaks after warranty I will remove it and try to implement a Leaf gearbox if it is possible to get one from Nissan. Probably not that easy to implement it or buy it. My current gearbox is a T-1200 from Azure Dynamics/Solectria but EVI may have had to open it to change something, I don't know? I know they don't enjoy paying 800 dollars one way for shipping.

        When they picked up my car a PT cruiser and a Smart EVI or Lion Motors rig was being delivered to the Seattle area. My car and a Minni from EVI were being shipped back for repairs. My car worked fine but the gearbox leaked fluid. I feel bad for this company, they are doing the right thing but it is not working out. People do build there own and with the lion batteries they go far and are reliable. The people who build there own look at mine and say they did a good job. But there were problems as listed on the EV Album.

        http://www.evalbum.com/1892
        • 5 Years Ago
        @harlanx6
        If BEVs were as easy to build and sell as many posters here believe, why don't they build them themselves? Go to the bank, show them your business plan, get some capital, and start building!

        Truth is, creating an entirely new subset of the auto industry will take time. The automakers certainly don't want to be tarred and feathered for producing BEVs that fail to satisfy the demands of their customers - just look at how they are excoriated when their BETA program cars have issues! Suppliers have to tool up, charging infrastructure has to be built, tax-incentive programs have to be created to encourage buyers to pay more money for less vehicle...

        BEVs are coming, it's ok. If you can't wait, build your own. Or, do like EVsuperhero, and buy a conversion. At least he's helping the little guys start out...
        • 5 Years Ago
        @harlanx6
        Socialists? No foot dragging by automakers? Stop listening to Fox News for 5 seconds. Many people (myself included) have been waiting for affordable EVs for years. Those willing to compromise have chosen to go with hybrids because that's all we've had for now. There is demand - we simply had no choice.

        You are right on one thing: it is going to take *at least* 10 years to see practical affordable EVs from most manufacturers. Legislation is the only way to accelerate this and look, it's already working for Mercedes.

        Happy new year everyone!
        • 7 Months Ago
        @harlanx6
        Mark_BC

        "Because it takes a few hundred million dollars to develop one, put it through the crash tests to get it certified for the road, and then produce them. And then, it's going to be unrealistically expensive because you won't have a mass production factory cranking them out"

        That's exactly my point. It's not as easy to produce an EV as many assume it is. They will come, but it takes time to get them coming... The automakers aren't simply "dragging their feet". They are actively designing and developing EVs as we speak, and it will take time to bring them to market.

        "And by then, in 5 years, production maturity and technology will have advanced to the point where manufacturers will be able to meet demand and the cars will be really good."

        Yes, that is likely. You get it!
        harlanx6
        • 7 Months Ago
        @harlanx6
        Mature dialogue there JPM. When you are out on the road and you run out of battery, your flippant reaction will help you find a place to recharge.
        • 7 Months Ago
        @harlanx6
        "Mature dialogue there JPM. When you are out on the road and you run out of battery, your flippant reaction will help you find a place to recharge"

        But when would that happen? If I had an EV (2-3 years maybe) then I wouldn't be driving it outside of quick-charge station areas (in cities and interstate corridors -- most of the places anyone is going to be), and therefore the chance of you running out of charge is as much as running out of gasoline.

        If I do go away from a charging infrastructure then I'll tow a genset trailer.
        harlanx6
        • 7 Months Ago
        @harlanx6
        That is exactly what we would have to do If we ever wanted to go somewhere, but it could be done. But it is still a pain in the ass. Give me an EV with a 900 cc turbodiesel kicker for range extension, either on an alternator or attached to the transmission, at an affordable price and I will be glad to give up my hybrid, but I guess that would be a hybrid. You know, we are just going to have to wait for an EV that is up to our standards. In the meantime the new ICE powered cars are pretty appealing. Some thought should be given to how green the electricity for our EVs actually is, assuming it is produced by a conventional coal fired power plant and there is a 50% loss in electrical transmission.
        Right now running an EV (not considering initial investment) is cheaper than buying gasoline, but it's greeness is debatable, and it's still a pain in the ass.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Fear of regulation: the only thing an old line automaker will understand. Bravo Europe!

      It's so weird to see that European are so green in general, yet all European automakers (except Renault) are dragging their feet on EVs. Where is that famous German engineering when you need it? 200K for a eTron or and SLS EV? Really?
        • 5 Years Ago
        I don't think Daimler is dragging their feet. They have their reputation to protect. If they put out a decent but not top-of-the-line EV or hybrid it may lessen the stature of their other product lines and that would cost them $$$.

        I'm no fan of Mercedes, etc. but I can see that (at least in their mind) Daimler believes they are a cut above all other auto makers. I am sure they believe they need to protect that lofty position in the auto industry. They'll come along soon enough.

        Realistically, though, they need to reduce their fleet average CO2 emissions somehow and EVs and series hybrids (preferably with at least 20 miles AER [all-electric range]) are the best way to do that.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Thetom,

        Daimler just put out the smart EV that will go 60 miles. I don't know if I am glad or sad.
        On the one hand yes they put out a EV, on the other, the EV they put out is anemic. The bad paranoid part of me says they are making these anemic EV's to show them as enviable.

        It urks me that GM built the Impact 20 years ago and it out does many of the EV's being released by many auto companies today. GM built the Impact or had Aeroe Environment build it as a wim. CARB did not even know the car existed. GM had it built just to show how smart GM was, they had no plans to produce it. Then GM made the mistake of letting CARB members see it at a auto show and CARB said, "what you mean this car is all electric?". "We want you to produce this car". So they mandated it into the legislature.

        Also pertaining to this sentence.

        Thetom said, "If they put out a decent but not top-of-the-line EV or hybrid it may lessen the stature of their other product lines and that would cost them $$$."

        I would say if they put out a top of the line EV or hybrid it will lessen the stature of the rest of there ICE product line. If they put out to good of a EV product no one will want to buy their higher profit ICE products but instead demand the latest EV or Hybrid cool sophisticated high mpg cutting edge technology.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have "officially" cost us over $944Billion as of 2009 and will top over $1.1Trillion once the 2010 budget is approved:
      http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/RL33110.pdf

      Those are direct costs. They don't include the interest we pay because we're paying for the war with borrowed funds...another $705Billion in interest... even back in 2007:
      http://www.usatoday.com/news/military/2007-10-23-wacosts_N.htm

      It will probably cost us between $2.5-$3.0 Trillion to pay for those two wars before we're finished around 2015. And the US alone spends between $500-$900Billion a year on foreign oil (depending on who's numbers you believe).

      So between 9/11 and the time we really wind down the two existing wars, we'll have spent somewhere north of $10TRILLION on crap to keep pumping oil. This does not remotely include any other costs such as increased security everywhere (been to an airport lately?), health related problems, the cost of paying for the medical care of the ten's of thousands of wounded vets from these wars....and the nearly 6,000 soldiers killed since we started this mess. And of course, that ignores the 50,000+ people killed in the war zones including their armies and civilians.

      Just looking at the US...you could take that $10Trillion number and replace all 254.4million passenger vehicles in the US fleet (DOT 2008) and replace every damn one of them at an average price of over $39,000. That buys a lot of batteries.

      We have no problem sending our kids over into two wars. But we don't have the guts to say that every car sold in America starting in 2015 has to have an AER of 20 miles and improve from there???

      We keep getting into debates on here about whether global warming is real, or man made, etc. Frankly, WHO CARES?

      Is there ANYONE on here who thinks we should be relying on oil? ANYONE who thinks that either cost of war, economic problems, national security, pollution, health, or ANY combination of the above is not a good reason to get off oil?

      Who cares WHY we do it. Just get the F@$# off oil!
        Bill
        • 7 Months Ago
        Thank you, Dave D for putting this into words, with linked statistics. If we add your linked war cost estimates into the retail price of gas per gallon sold, it would surely surpass the 8-9 dollar per gallon true cost we have often seen quoted here and elsewhere that would presumably make all sorts of future technologies economically feasible to come online.

        Even if this weren't so, I would much rather pay the 32- 39k for a PEV, BEV or Clean Diesel to a company stateside than send another penny overseas to cultures and governments that seek to end our way of life as a basic tenet of their daily existence.

        My wish would to bring online all sorts of drilling, PV cells, windmill and natural gas, even temporarily, perhaps with sunset and dismantling regulations in place, in order to break the oil cartel's stranglehold on many of our world's economies, especially before China and others (more) successfully ramp up their economies and most importantly, before they assist the African continent into the steel and oil consumption markets in which they lag. We can't afford to have African demand come fully on line without a well defined plan B.
        • 7 Months Ago
        @throwback:
        No, that's not what i'm saying at all. The last thing I said and the most important point:

        "Who cares WHY we do it. Just get the F@$# off oil! "

        Do you want us to keep using oil? Is that what you're advocating or did you think it was more important to "be right" about your view of Afghanistan?

        You just want to be "right". You took one part of what I was saying out of context and made a statement to start a fight with me.

        So forget the part about the military....are you saying that you WANT to spend hundreds of billions of dollars every year to keep buying oil from foreign sources? Do you agree we should stop doing that or is it more important to you to be "right" about some little point in what I said??????

        • 7 Months Ago
        +1

        I would point out the numbers will always be changing on the dollar amount put on oil importation. If oil price and demand is high, import cost more. 2008 = 900,0000,0000,0000. 2009 = 600 billion, maybe the results are not in. Yes congress pull your heads out.
        • 7 Months Ago
        Are you saying we only invaded Afghanistan because of oil? Is 9/11/01 really that long ago?
        • 7 Months Ago
        US military bases around the world neatly track oil production and routes.
        The Second world war kicked off for the US when they tried to cut Japan off from oil sources, and the southern-most prong of the German army into Russia was directed at seizig control of the Caucasian oil fields.
        Don't imagine that both the US military and other militaries around the world are not aware that without oil, their militarty stops working, and that plans to seize and protect oil resources are not drivers both of current policy and future contingency war plans.
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