German automobile manufacturer Daimler has indicated it will end development of new vehicles powered by internal combustion engines.
Daimler, whose founder Gottlieb Daimler patented one of the world’s first successful internal combustion engines in 1885, intends for at least half the vehicles it sells to be electric or hybrid powered by 2030. For the time being, Daimler’s chief of development Markus Schäfer told German motoring magazine Auto Motor und Sport, the company will focus its efforts on innovation and development of new electric vehicles and batteries; with no plans for further development of its petrol- and diesel-powered vehicles. Schäfer noted that plans could change and that development of conventionally powered cars could be reopened in the future, however; and that development would continue on components of its existing vehicle lines.
Elon Musk, CEO of electric vehicle producer Tesla, said on Twitter: “Electric is the future! Congratulations Daimler!!”, adding: “Very meaningful action by the company that invented the internal combustion engine. People will remember this day. Respect.”
Much of Daimler’s development in the e-mobility sector to date has focused on electric vans, trucks and other larger vehicles: earlier this month the company announced it had entered into a global battery cell supply agreement with electric vehicle battery manufacturer Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited (CATL) to support Daimler’s electric trucks and buses. Gesa Reimelt, Head of E-Mobility Group Daimler Trucks & Buses, said: “As the world’s leading truck manufacturer, we strive to be first to market with series production zero-emission transportation solutions on a global scale. Already today, we have battery-electric trucks in customer operation around the world. Working with CATL as a strong global partner will go a long way in providing a wide range of electric trucks for series production from 2021 onwards.”
In adopting the shift towards low- and zero-emission mobility, Daimler joins fellow German vehicle producer Volkswagen, which announced in December 2018 that it would launch its final generation of internal combustion engine vehicles in 2026.