Like its competitors – for example Audi and BMW and its i sub-brand – Daimler is aiming to have as much as 25 percent of its annual vehicle sales be battery-electric within the next 10 years as part of an effort to meet stricter greenhouse-gas emissions mandates in both Europe and North America. In fact, Mercedes-Benz and Daimler's Smart division collectively have at least 10 electric-vehicle models on their slates during the next few years, though Zetsche said the German automaker will continue to find ways to make its gas- and diesel-powered vehicles more fuel-efficient as well.
Daimler introduced a concept version of the Generation EQ electric SUV at the Paris Motor Show late last month. It comes powered by two electric motors and is made up of a combination of steel, aluminum, and carbon fiber, and boasts a 311-mile single-charge range (on the relatively lenient European testing standards). The SUV also has 402 horsepower, and the ability to go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in less than five seconds. Zetsche said at the time that Daimler was prepping powertrains and platforms for electric sedans, wagons, coupes, and roadsters, in addition to SUVs. Additionally, Daimler's Deutsche Accumotive unit is producing the lithium-ion battery packs for the EQs.