Daimler AG, parent company to Mercedes-Benz, has responded to Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s tweet that the company was “off by a zero” when it pledged to invest $1 billion in growing its electric vehicle manufacturing footprint. The German-based automotive giant which reported $180 billion in revenue in 2016 confirmed that they have upped the ante and will invest at least $10 billion in development of next-generation electric vehicles and over $1 billion in battery production.
Mercedes brand executive Markus Schäfer stated, “We are significantly growing our manufacturing footprint here in Alabama, while sending a clear message to our customers across the U.S. and around the world: Mercedes-Benz will continue to be on the cutting-edge of electric vehicle development and production.”
The proposed $1 billion investment into EVs by Daimler was initially to be used for expansion of its Tuscaloosa, Alabama production facility, where the company currently builds the Mercedes-Benz GLE, GLE Coupe, and GLS SUVs.
That's not a lot of money for a giant like Daimler/Mercedes. Wish they'd do more. Off by a zero.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 24, 2017
Daimler AG bolstered its commitment to electric vehicle development in a tweet aimed directly at Musk, saying that the company will invest over $11 billion into its brand for “intelligent electric mobility” dubbed “EQ – Electric Intelligence”.
“Here the missing zero: Investing >$10bn in nxt gen EVs & >$1bn in battery prod.” reads the tweet by Daimler AG.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 25, 2017
Though it’s not clear if Daimler’s at least $10 billion investment will go towards a fleet of all-electric vehicles or plugin hybrid EVs, the commitment joins a long list of other auto manufacturers including BMW, Porsche and Volvo that have pledged to electrify their fleet of new cars over the next two to three years.
Porsche recently announced that it will begin production of its Mission E concept car that many regard as a true contender for Tesla’s Model S. With a starting price expected to be in the mid $80,000 range, dual motor all-wheel drive, fast charging, and over 300 miles of driving range per single charge, Porsche’s Mission E concept is expected to be on parity to Tesla’s flagship sedan and will compete for market share in the all-electric luxury sedan segment.
Mercedes-Benz has also revealed its own line up of electric vehicles, most recently at the Frankfurt Motor Show where the company debuted its EQA concept electric compact. The car maker also has plans to launch an all-electric EQC SUV slated for a 2019 delivery.