German magazine Auto Motor Sport quotes Daimler board member Thomas Weber with the statement that the company is currently developing an electric vehicle with a driving range of some 400 to 500 km (about 250 to 310 miles). Besides their high price, the driving range is considered the major roadblock for the acceptance of battery electric vehicles at the mass market. The electric drive train under construction in Daimler’s development labs will fit to a variety of models, Weber said. This hints to a modular approach which potentially could solve (well, in part) the price problem. On the question of when the new e-car would be available, Weber only said “soon”.
According to earlier press reports Daimler has quietly buried its long-standing relationship with Tesla in the area of powertrains. Over several years, the Germans obtained the powertrains for its B-Series from Tesla; for a number of years Daimler even was a major shareholder of the North American electromobility pioneer.
Already in August Daimler competitor Audi aired plans to showcase its e-tron Quattro, a battery-electric SUV concept car at the imminent IAA motor show. This vehicle will feature a driving range of “more than 500 km”, but market rollout should not be expected before 2018, Audi said.