Mercedes fast forward on battery cars
In the IDTechEx report,"Fuel Cell Vehicles 2016-2026" we predicted that the window of opportunity for fuel cell vehicles is closing as battery pure electric vehicles grab their target markets. For example, there are thousands of pure electric buses working perfectly well out there - some double decker or articulated - for every fuel cell bus on trial. The picture shows one we spotted in London a few days ago. The fuel cell buses work well too but mostly they use hydrogen from fossil fuels and they are always wildly uneconomic. Niche applications will be available for fuel cells and we identify many of them but ubiquitous green hydrogen refilling stations will remain elusive as the necessary trillions of dollars are not forthcoming. Saying this does nothing for sales of our fuel cell report but we value the integrity of our facts-based research and refuse to join those analysts selling exaggerated forecasts intended to assist clients to obtain investment.
In the on-road internal combustion business, the premium car segment is certainly under pressure since diesel's dirty secret has been aired, emission rules become ever tighter, and Tesla writes record after record and so late follower Daimler is now reacting as rival BMW has already done and Tesla and BYD did before them. 10 EVs by 2022 is the latest target - that is 3 years earlier than initially planned in Paris. On Wednesday's annual conference in Berlin, CEO Dieter Zetsche also announced he would invest 10bn euros in order to expand the electric lineup under the EQ label that will cover every segment from compact to luxury. Fuel cells were not mentioned though. These are battery electric vehicles. For the big opportunities see the IDTechEx report, Electric Vehicles 2017-2027: Forecasts, Analysis, Opportunities.
Top image of Dieter Zetsche: Daimler