© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Daimler brand is seen earlier than the carmaker’s annual shareholder assembly in Berlin


By Nick Carey

LONDON (Reuters) -Mercedes-Benz maker Daimler (OTC:) stated on Wednesday it’s going to speed up its shift to electrical automobiles because it builds on a robust begin to 2021 regardless of a world semiconductor chip scarcity, however gave no particulars of how briskly its automobile line-up will go electrical.

The German firm stated it anticipated 2021 to be a considerably higher yr for income, and pretax earnings than a pandemic-hit 2020.

In frequent with German rivals BMW and Volkswagen (DE:), Daimler benefited from Chinese language demand for high-margin luxurious autos within the second half of 2020, which helped gross sales to recuperate from manufacturing shutdowns within the first a part of the yr.

However a scarcity of chips the auto trade makes use of in a spread of capabilities, equivalent to managing gasoline economic system and emergency braking, has meant a lot of the auto trade has struggled to take care of output.

Daimler stated it deliberate to hurry up the electrification of its product vary, however didn’t present any particular element.

In 2019, Daimler stated it anticipated plug-in hybrids or all-electric autos to make up greater than 50% of its automobile gross sales by 2030

“We wish to speed up the electrification of our product portfolio,” Chief Govt Ola Källenius stated. “It is our purpose to succeed in this goal sooner.”

When requested throughout a video convention name with buyers why Daimler had not offered up to date targets for accelerating electrification, the carmaker’s CEO stated this could rely on many components, together with the provision of charging infrastructure for electrical automobiles.

Källenius stated Daimler will retool two of its oldest German crops, Untertürkheim and Berlin-Marienfelde, and retrain staff to make electrical automobile parts in addition to components for fossil-fuel fashions.

Daimler will subsequent month unveil the EQS, an all-new electrical Mercedes-Benz sedan utilizing a devoted electrical automobile platform. The corporate stated on Wednesday the EQS ought to have a battery vary of as much as 770 kilometers (478 miles).

CEO Källenius stated the EQS may also be charged as much as a spread of 300 km in quarter-hour. Carmakers are growing quicker charging batteries for customers used to filling combustion engine gasoline tanks in simply minutes.

Throughout the trade, carmakers are racing to adapt as CO2 emissions targets tighten in Europe and China.

This month, BMW stated it anticipated at the very least 50% of its gross sales to be zero-emission autos by 2030.

Sweden’s Volvo stated this month its line-up can be absolutely electrical by 2030, and Ford stated in February its European fashions can be too.

Whereas it focuses on electrical automobiles, is making ready to listing its truck making unit, Daimler Truck, which it stated ought to occur by the tip of 2021.

The corporate introduced plans to spin off the unit, the world’s largest truck and bus maker, in February, in search of to extend its investor attraction as a centered electrical, luxurious automobile enterprise.

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