In an interview with a German automotive magazine, Daimler R&D Board Member Markus Schäfer talked about electromobility and key components for electric vehicles.
He considers electric motors and battery performance in particular to be important, which is why Daimler is focusing on further improvements here.
What does that mean for Daimlers electric vehicle strategy?
In the future, Daimler no longer wants to purchase electric motors from the standard portfolio of suppliers, as previously planned, but instead focuses on better coordinating the motor with the rest of the electric components. The company has learned that the potential of an e-motor in terms of increased efficiency, which is reflected in battery size and range and thus costs, “should not be underestimated.” “Every percent counts there,” said Schäfer. “So as a vehicle manufacturer, you have to know the interplay of the engine, battery, and power electronics inside and out.
While Daimler offers a range of 390 kilometers according to WLTP for its current Mercedes-Benz brand vehicles, the soon-to-be-launched EQS luxury sedan is expected to achieve 700 kilometers with a new architecture.
The battery is the key
The new battery cells are crucial for this, Schäfer says. Daimler is working in its own laboratories on the next generation of batteries – a lithium-nickel-cobalt-manganese cell – with greater energy density and high resistance to charging cycles. In our opinion, although the company is looking into the chemistry and battery design, it has no ambitions to build its own battery cell factory in the face of large battery cell manufacturers such as LG Chem and CATL.
For vehicles with a smaller battery, Daimler also considers cheaper and safe lithium iron phosphate batteries (LFP). Manufacturers such as BYD and Tesla in China are already following this path. BYD has used an LFP battery in its much-acclaimed Han electric vehicle, which has a range of over 400 km.