Ola Kaellenius, the Chief Executive of Mercedes-Benz, has stated that the variable costs associated with the production of electric vehicles (EVs) are expected to remain higher than those of combustion engine models for the foreseeable future. This revelation was made during the IAA car show in Munich, where Mercedes-Benz provided insights into its upcoming electric vehicle architecture, specifically the CLA compact electric sedan set to launch next year. The new CLA is anticipated to offer 30% to 35% more driving range than its predecessors.
Kaellenius acknowledged that the higher variable costs associated with EVs, including raw materials for batteries, software development, and electricity prices, pose a challenge. He emphasized that these increased costs cannot be directly passed on to customers at the same price point as traditional combustion engine vehicles.
In light of these challenges, Mercedes-Benz is actively working to optimize fixed costs and allocate resources more efficiently to achieve comparable profitability with electric cars as with their conventional counterparts.
The forthcoming CLA aims to achieve power consumption of 12 kilowatt hours per 100 kilometers and a remarkable 750 kilometers of driving range. This stands in contrast to the 17 to 18 kWh per 100 km consumption seen in the current EQA 350 compact SUV model offered by Mercedes.
Mercedes-Benz's Chief Technology Officer, Markus Schaefer, stated that they are striving for a significant reduction in costs, targeting a level of around 50% less compared to the previous generation. The production of CLA's batteries will be handled by key suppliers such as CATL and ACC, in which Mercedes holds a one-third stake.
One notable aspect of the CLA strategy is its focus on streamlining model development and reducing complexity, which has grown substantially in recent years. Mercedes-Benz plans to offer both hybrid and all-electric versions of the CLA, with no diesel variants in the pipeline.
As the electric vehicle market continues to evolve, Mercedes-Benz is clearly committed to addressing the inherent cost challenges while delivering innovative and competitive electric vehicles to consumers.