Renault-Nissan & Daimler pondering battery cooperation
Renault-Nissan and Daimler may make some cooperative efforts to include battery and autonomous driving technology. At least their executives, namely Carlos Ghosn and Dieter Zetsche saw chances to work more closely together when speaking to the press in Paris.Weiterlesen
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Wang Chuanfu, Dieter Zetsche.
“From BYD’s point of view, the biggest challenge is battery capacity. Our Iron Phosphate battery plant, the largest in the world, has annual capacity of 10GWh, yet still cannot meet the booming demand.”
Asked about the current challenges for the uptake of electric buses, Wang Chuanfu, President and Chairman of BYD, mentions first of all battery capacity. Apart from that, the barriers would not be as high as one might think, he adds.
“I respect what Elon Musk is doing and his approach. He went to the other end, to luxury, and made electric car driving more desirable. At the same time, we have sold electric cars 12 years ago, long before him, but did not come up with a really-convincing car.”
Daimler chief Dieter Zetsche has a clear idea of why Tesla succeeds with its strategy while his company had to deal with setbacks when it comes to electrification. However, with the upcoming EV line-up, Zetsche is sure to make Daimler as attractive to EV buyers as Tesla.
Dieter Zetsche, Thomas Brachmann.
“Tesla has certainly set a positive impulse because they do not say electro mobility is renunciation [of power] and about ‘granola image’, but on the contrary: that is power and enthusiasm. And that is the right way.”
Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche refers to the “golf cart” image he believes had been attached to electric vehicles for years. In an interview on the sidelines of SXSW 2017, he thanked Tesla for having paved the way.
“We see the smaller cars using battery power and the bigger cars using fuel-cell systems. So we need to look at where does the battery end and the hydrogen car start.”
According to Thomas Brachmann, chief project engineer-R&D Europe for Honda, the company may use its fuel cell technology for the new Civic soon.
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Dieter Zetsche, Kathy Beslic, Lutz Stiegler.
“It would be outrageous to predict a year, where the tipping point happens and an EV will be a similar price to a combustion engine, but we believe it’s in the next decade.”
Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche with his prediction of price parity between gas guzzlers and electric vehicles. Not so outrageous after all.
“We’re proud to come to market first.”
Says Kathy Beslic, marketing manager for the Chevrolet Bolt, who otherwise refused to comment on Tesla’s Model 3. So far, the Bolt EV is available in California and Oregon.
“Building a hybrid V90 Cross Country is feasible. If there is enough demand from customers we will do it.”
Lutz Stiegler, Volvo’s director of powertrain engineering, exhibits willingness to follow consumers’ wishes for electrification no matter the segment. Volvo does rule out diesel-electric hybrids though.
Dieter Zetsche, Barack Obama, Stefan Bratzel.
“We are at the leading edge in this technology, but at the same time, in the last five, six, seven years, battery electric vehicles have developed much faster and further than we expected, and the advantages of fuel-cell vehicles as far as range is concerned, as far as filling time is concerned, has become much smaller.”
Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche is not putting a lot of faith in fuel technology. The carmaker is still planning to “launch a four-digit number of fuel-cell vehicles” next year, but not everyone can buy them. But Zetsche also admits, that all could change in ten years.
“I believe the trend toward clean energy is irreversible.”
Outgoing U.S. President Barack Obama wrote in the journal Science that clean energy technology will continue under President Trump – whether he wants to or not. The reason is that people living in the U.S. have begun integrating the change in i.e. mobility into their own lives.
sciencemag.org via teslarati.com
“Over the last couple of years, German manufacturers and others have been investing very heavily in electric mobility. They are still a bit slower than Tesla but I wouldn’t underestimate their progress.”
Stefan Bratzel of the Center of Automotive Management (CAM) says that if Tesla does not manage to be profitable, it could be taken over by a company that is currently still playing catch-up.
Dieter Zetsche, Trevor Milton, Jens Marquardt.
“Whoever arrives too early is alone on the dance floor. Whoever comes too late may have already missed the best part.”
For Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche, the time to launch an EV has to be picked as carefully as the time to arrive at a party. He says that launching the Generation EQ concept at the end of the decade is the right time to so.
“We’ve essentially solved the biggest transportation problem in our history.”
Trevor Milton, CEO of Nikola Motors, seems to be ready to take Elon Musk head on – at least in terms of communication. The company just revealed its hydrogen-electric truck, said to launch in 2020.
“It’s important for Formula E to keep its USP with racing in big cities where the people are.”
BMW motorsport director Jens Marquardt doesn’t believe that the Formula E needs to go any faster, but should focus on fan interaction and virtual racing. He even believes that one day, fans could virtually race against the teams actually on the track.
Dieter Zetsche, Jochem Heinzmann, Kiyoshi Fujiwara.
“The best overall package is what will convince the customer – we want people to buy our electric cars because they want to and not because they have to because other cars are outlawed.”
Just forbidding petrol and diesel cars is not the way to push electric mobility, Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche says. He wants to conquer the buyers’ hearts with his products to ensure long-term success.
automobilwoche.de (in German)
“We have to do more in the NEV area. The government is pushing, the general environment in China is pushing that.”
Volkswagen’s China chief Jochem Heinzmann says the company wants to sell as many as 400,000 “new energy vehicles” in China by the end of the decade and even 1.5m by 2025. He is now hoping the Chinese government will approve the manufacture’s third joint venture there that would focus on battery-electric cars only.
“Of course we need EVs. As you know, in Norway, the complete energy source is water… this means that EV is much better for CO2 in Norway. But not in United States or China… Therefore, we are focusing on ICE, but some regions we need EVs, so therefore in 2019 or in that time frame we will introduce EVs where it is needed in the world.”
Mazda’s head of research and development Kiyoshi Fujiwara announced a prospective electric vehilces for 2019 at the LA Motor Show. The car could then also be offered with a rotary engine as range extender.
Dieter Zetsche, Mary Nichols, Takahiko Ijichi.
“Those who see carmakers as the root of all evil might not have noticed every second electric car in Europe is made in Germany.”
Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche tells the German Green Party that he, too, wants emission-free mobility. The party passed a resolution over the weekend, calling for and ICE ban from 2030 in Germany.
“California’s commitment to clean air and climate protection has been strengthened by this election.”
Following the election of a U.S. President most likely to sweep climate change under the rug, Chairman of the California Air Resources Board (CARB) Mary Nichols tweeted that the western state will continue its efforts to promote EVs and implement zero-emission mandates.
“If you ask the question – what is the ultimate environmentally friendly vehicle? – we’ll say it will be fuel cell vehicles. And our idea has not changed.”
Toyota CFO Takahiko Ijichi explains that while the carmaker is looking to have EVs in its line-up to be more flexible when it comes to introducing a vehicle to a market depending on their infrastructure and policy, fuel cell technology remains their main cause.
Dieter Zetsche, BMI Research, Ferdinand Dudenhöffer.
“We were one of the first automakers to develop and build its own cells. From a performance point of view, they were excellent, but they were not cost competitive. Today, the cell is almost a commodity good so the cost is going down fast.”
Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche on batteries for electric vehicles. He expects 100 euros per kWh by 2025 as costs for “electric controls, electric motors and all of the other parts” will decrease as well.
“If ZEVC were removed, Tesla Motors would lose a major source of income at a time when it is looking to ramp up its operations in order to launch the Model 3.”
Zero Emission Vehicle Credits are a mayor part of Tesla`s income, BMI Research says, but fears that these may be removed during the looming Trump administration.
“The electric cars from German manufacturers lack range. There is no comprehensive charging infrastructure available. In my opinion, the government cobbled together the incentive overnight in an amateur way and failed to prepare it professionally.”
Ferdinand Dudenhöffer, Germany’s answer to Bob Lutz, believes the buyers incentive is not enough and misguided. His continuous concern is range-angst.
Dieter Zetsche, Henrik Fisker, Johan van Zyl.
“We have set for ourselves a target five years ago to become the number one car premium manufacturer. That was supposed to be reached in 2020, but it seems that we are awful close already. So we can set a new target to ourselves and that is equally to be the leader in electric premium vehicles as well. This includes not just our current competitors, but new entries as well, including Tesla.”
Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche is most satisfied with his firm’s progress and considers electrification the next segment to take a lead in, or where to go head to head with Tesla. It is EV premium he is talking, naturally.
“I think it’s pretty clear when you look at the market, when you look at the premium market, there’s really only one company that is out there, and it’s Tesla.”
Henrik Fisker is certain who he considers his biggest competitor. However, as Tesla is moving further into autonomy, Fisker does not “believe that it makes any sense for an automaker to develop autonomous driving.”
businessinsider.com via insideevs.com
“The sharing economy is one of the shining economies. That, in cities, might be the direction. But it’s also a difficult business model to make work, because at the end of the day, whether somebody is sharing or using it, somebody has to pay for it. The asset must be funded. It’s an interesting business model but not an easy one.”
Says Toyota’s European President & CEO Johan van Zyl. He also mused on the electrification of the compact Aygo that Toyota produces together with PSA as EVs could definitely play a part in the urban sharing economy.
Dieter Zetsche, Guillaume Berthier, BNEF.
“When it comes to electric mobility, we want competitors to only see our taillights by 2025 – no matter if they are from Bavaria or California. It’s ambitions, but doable.”
Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche seems (finally) ready to take things to the next level. He did however tell Bloomberg that he is against a government enforced ban of combustion engines, adding that “we cannot stop advancing combustion engine technology, even if 25 percent of vehicles sold in 2025 are e-cars, as 75 percent won’t be.”
automobilwoche.de (competition; in German); bloomberg.com (ban)
“We believe the real potential with the highest volume is in the low end of the market. So our new vehicle will be at a reasonable price, with not a huge amount of autonomous technology, and it will be very much a city car.”
Renault chief marketer Guillaume Berthier believes that China will be the next big market for electric mobility. In Europe, he says the “turning point for mass adoption” is already within reach.
“In densely populated, high-income cities like London and Singapore … electric vehicles could represent as much as 60 percent of all vehicles on the road by 2030, the result of low-emission zones, consumer interest and favorable economics.”
A new report by McKinsey & Co and Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) says that with battery prices dropping, electric mobility could dominate the roads of wealthy cities by 2030.
Oliver Blume, Dieter Zetsche, Carlos Ghosn.
“We are in contact with other manufacturers and suppliers around the world to build a fast-charging network. It sounds easy but getting the details agreed is hard. We already have the clear technical concept. It can even work with Teslas, with an adapter.”
Porsche CEO Oliver Blume comments on the planned 800 Volt fast-charging system that Porsche is developing for the VW Group. Plans are apparently getting more concrete and will even give its biggest competitor a place to plug in.
“Now we are setting a new target to ourselves and that’s to be the leader in electric premium vehicles – latest by 2025.”
Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche says the company will not only catch up to, but overtake Tesla as leader of the electric mobility market in less than a decade. The EQ brand introduced in Paris is to lead the way.
“We will develop low-cost electric cars based on knowledge coming out of India, but deploy it in China, because that is where the market exists.”
Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn wants to develop inexpensive EVs in India to sell in China. The Alliance worries about losing its place there to local players, who offer electric mobility for less.
Mary Barra, Dieter Zetsche, Nissan.
“Launching the Chevrolet Bolt EV, getting that into the marketplace and seeing customers’ reactions is one way we can capitalize on our battery cell technology.”
General Motors CEO Mary Barra explains the company’s move to invest in Lyft and Cruise Automation as a long-term way to profit from new technologies.
“It is very important to get the right timing. As a tendency, and as a trend, we have become more bullish in that regard.”
Daimler Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche explains the company’s newest plans regarding their accelerated development of premium electric cars. Though Zetsche would not reveal details, the company may be taking aim at rivals Tesla and Audi.
“It is now fair to say that charger availability has reached critical mass in Japan.”
A statement from Nissan indicates that Japan’s charging infrastructure has reached a level where EV drivers don’t have trouble finding a plug. Some 6,200 chargers are said to be available at some 7,000 locations nationwide, including 60% of the world’s quick chargers.
Dieter Zetsche (Daimler), Stella Li (BYD).
“That excitement is not just about the drivetrain but the overall appearance and approach Tesla is taking.”
Dieter Zetsche, Daimler’s Chairman of the Board of Management, sees Tesla’s presence and competition as a welcome challenge, Zetsche admits that the American competitor offers what other manufacturers do not.
“Wang Chuanfu is a marathoner, while Elon Musk is a 100-meter sprinter. A long-distance runner and a sprinter have different abilities and strengths.”
Stella Li, senior vice president at BYD, draws a clear line between the Chinese manufacturer and Tesla. BYD builds electric buses, cars and batteries and is looking to establish itself as a reliable brand name long-term. Li adds that BYD plans to up production capacity at its U.S. plant from 300 to 1,000 electric buses per year.
“I don’t know if there’s one tipping point after which in two years all internal combustion engines will be replaced in new-car sales by electric cars.”
According to Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche, batteries are key to the future of electric cars. Once EVs can go around 310 miles on one charge, they become competitive. Though Zetsche say, there is no “magic number” to trigger EV uptake.
Dieter Zetsche, Jason Wheeler, Green Budget Europe.
“Cars with electric driving ranges of 500 km and fast charging times of 20 minutes are within reach.”
Even Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche believes that, considering progress made in recent years, electric drivetrains will catch on. However, if Germany continues on the same path as before, its goal of one million EVs on the road by 2020 seems unattainable.
“My mandate from Elon is clear: cash is king.”
Tesla CFO Jason Wheeler explains that the EV maker plans to cut capital expenditures this year to obtain net cash flow positive, as Tesla also expects a year-on-year growth in vehicle deliveries of up to 78 percent.
“The longer Germany waits before reducing its 18 cent tax gap between diesel and petrol, the harder it will become for its carmakers to become more competitive in making mass-market hybrids and electric vehicles.”
This sentence comes from a press release from Green Budget Europe (GBE), as members of the European Parliament were presented with a report showing that diesel cars are worse for the environment than petrol-powered vehicles.
Oliver Letwin, Dieter Zetsche.
“In practice, it could be done today.”
British Cabinet Office minister Oliver Letwin whips up parliament to get behind the electric car revolution. He refers to inductive charging while driving, having to admit, however, that at this point, it is a technological rather than infrastructural reality.
“A glance at Tesla’s financial results proves that there is no manufacturer who makes money with these products.”
Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche explains that he expects slower growth in 2016 due to investments made. But maybe value can be measured not only in money alone? Tesla shares definitely speak of another reality than profit.
Dieter Zetsche, Josh Tavel.
“Our impression was that these companies can do more and know more than we had previously assumed. At the same time they have more respect for our achievements than we thought.”
Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche visited Apple and Google in Silicon Valley, commenting on their and Daimler’s development of autonomous driving technology.
“Being the leader in range and affordability means nothing if the car isn’t going to excite you each time you get behind the wheel.”
Chevrolet Bolt EV chief engineer Josh Tavel says the Bolt already tackles issues that had previously prevented EV uptake. Plus, it is simply fun to drive.
Dieter Zetsche, Vincent Gaillardot.
“No carmaker is making money with this. Not even Tesla.”
Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche comments on the, in his opinion, meagre margins from selling electric cars as their production is still too costly.
automobil-produktion.de (in German)
“Yes we have one motor and we have ‘some’ gears. Because it is the first season of development you need some risk assessment.”
Renault’s technical programme manager Vincent Gaillardot says that team e-dams will compete with one single motor set-up in the upcoming Formula E season. Previous rumours presumed the use of a dual-motor.
Dieter Zetsche, Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer.
“Google and Apple want to provide system software for cars and bring this entire ecosystem around Apple and Google into the vehicle. That can be interesting for both sides.”
Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche says he is not opposed to cooperating with the two technology giants, as self-driving and connected cars take centre stage. However, he stressed that Daimler refuses to become just a supplier.
“Tesla’s range of up to 450 kilometres (281 miles) makes the cumbersome plug-in art rather uninteresting. This makes it high risk that the premium manufacturers have invested in the wrong technology.”
Professor Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer, director of the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) at the University of Duisburg-Essen, is convinced that Tesla’s batteries trumped plug-in hybrids, which are “too costly,” “too heavy” and “not environmentally friendly.”
Dieter Zetsche, Mary Barra
“These days Tesla is selling 50,000 vehicles in a total market of 80 million. So it’s not our number one priority to compete with Tesla.”
Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche does not see Tesla as a serious competitor. Audi and its planned Q6 electric car might be another matter. But the CEO did not confirm any plans to go head to head (yet).
“To make the biggest impact, it takes an engineering organization with the scale and the expertise to build electric vehicles for everyone, not just the elite.”
General Motors CEO Mary Barra sent out a similar message to Tesla, as she once more praises the upcoming Bolt as an EV accessible to mass market.
Johan de Nysschen, Dieter Zetsche.
“We will roll out plug-in hybrids across our portfolio. It’s part of confirming the progressive nature of the brand.”
Cadillac CEO Johan de Nysschen confirmed that more PHEV variants of its models will follow the unveiling of the CT6 last week. He though also said that there will most likely not be a new version of the Cadillac ELR.
hybridcars.com (hybrids), hybridcars.com (ELR)
“We will most certainly not build a Tesla fighter.”
Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche says that if Mercedes-Benz builds a “fighter”, it will be directed at established competitors, not at Tesla.
Joachim Fetzer, Ulrich Hackenberg, Dieter Zetsche.
“I believe we will soon be able to deliver the best batteries from Europe, including the cells.”
Joachim Fetzer, head of electric mobility at Bosch, is certain that a decision about battery cell production in Europe will not be made until 2018. He also believes that Tesla will be able to reduce battery costs to 100 euros/kWh (109 dollars/kWh).
automobil-industrie.vogel.de (in German)
“It’s a more passenger orientated car, so for more than two passengers. But it will be a car which can be used by families that have some money, it is premium. It will have a big battery capacity and a range of more than 500km (313 miles). We will make a presentation soon.”
Audi’s head of engineering Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg confirms that Audi will take on the Tesla Model X with a large, all-electric SUV with a range of more than 300 miles.
“As proven by Tesla, there can be a market at the other side of the range as well. If that is a possibility, we are investigating.”
Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche hinted at the Geneva Motor Show that Mercedes may be working on an electric limousine. He also said that the reason EVs have not been successful (yet), is because they tend to be in cheaper segments.
Dieter Zetsche, Damien Meredith.
“If there were a rumor that Mercedes or Daimler planned to start building smart phones then they (Apple) would not be sleepless at night. And the same applies to me and this is full of respect for Apple.”
Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche cannot understand why Apple wants to build an electric car. Nor does he believe that it could have any impact on the industry. Funny, since Nokia argued in a similar way before Apple got into the mobile phone business.
“I was always a great believer in fuel cell technology, it’s the way of the future. So it’s hybrid, plug-in hybrid, then probably fuel cell. That’s my view.”
Kia Motors Australia CEO Damien Meredith says that it is difficult to decide whether the company should introduce a hybrid to the Australian market, a technology he sees as a stepping stone.
Barack Obama, Chetan Maini, Dieter Zetsche.
“I would strongly advise American consumers to continue to think about how you save money at the pump because it is good for the environment, it’s good for family pocketbooks and if you go back to old habits and suddenly gas is back at $3.50, you are going to not be real happy.”
U.S. president Barack Obama is warning his fellow Americans to get overly excited about the currently low oil prices. He recommends to buy smaller, fuel-efficient vehicles.
“India as a market has a huge potential for EVs. Various factors such as incessant stop-go traffic, long distance travel, fuel prices, and effects on health, noise & air pollution, stressful driving due to jammed roads make EVs a viable option in India.”
Chetan Maini, CEO of Mahindra Reva, believes that electric cars could solve many of India’s transport problems. However, potential customers perceive EVs to be too expensive while infrastructure and comprehensive policies remain scarce.
“Selling these shares had nothing but financial considerations. We bought low and sold high, which is typically a good thing.”
Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche quietens speculations that the relationship with Tesla has gained a competitive edge. Zetsche continued by emphasising the “good relationship” with Tesla, which is supplying the entire drivetrain system for the B-class ED.
Carlos Ghosn, Dieter Zetsche.
“Over the past century, we’ve spent trillions of dollars to develop a sophisticated global infrastructure around petroleum. Gasoline service stations are now so common in the industrialized world that people often forget conventional cars have a limited range.”
Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn wrote in a post on LinkedIn. He believes, a similar expansion will be possible for charging stations and that initiatives to boost charging infrastructure always lead to growing EV sales.
“Today, unlike five years ago, I am convinced that we will be able to reach a range of 400 or 500 kilometers in this decade, keeping weight and costs to a minimum.”
Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said in an interview with German magazine Stern, talking about self-driving electric cars of the future. And he clearly favors batteries over fuel cell technology.
stern.de (in German)
Dieter Zetsche, Chelsea Sexton, Roger Brown.
“You can reasonably say that nobody today is making a battery-powered vehicle that’s economically viable in its own right. Manufacturers will not see a return within a reasonable time on the billions they’re investing now.”
Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche notes that the carmaker put less effort in the design of its Mercedes B-Class ED, than BMW did in the i3. Also, using a Tesla drivetrain required less work than developing one in house.
“A decade back, no one looked at their original cassette player and said, ‘I wish I could watch TV on it and use it as a phone.'”
EV advocate and industry consultant Chelsea Sexton believes that as EVs become more popular, people will realize that they want something they could not have before. A phenomenon, she says, much like we saw with smartphones.
“We are talking with 5 total states in incentives and what states are good and bad. We will make the decision end of year or first of 2015. Wanxiang wants us to go to Delaware but we must decide on our own.”
Fisker president Roger Brown says the carmaker has yet to decide on a production site for the new Karma and Atlantic. Which states are being considered was not disclosed.