Emissions tests are having an impact.
Daimler just made a somewhat startling announcement. It seems the automaker (including its subsidiaries Mercedes-Benz and Smart) had failed to reduce overall fleet emissions for the first time since 2007. Daimler blames this on increasing demand (and the accompanying boost in sales) for trucks, SUVs and other larger vehicles, but the problem is that Europe has stringent emissions targets and Daimler is no longer on track to hit those marks. Therefore, Daimler has no choice but to accelerate its plug-in vehicle efforts or assume the risk of failing to comply with standards.
As Reuters reports:
"The company said it expects Mercedes-Benz Cars to bring more than 10 new electric cars to market by 2022 through 10 billion euros ($10.8 billion) of investment, having previously aimed to achieve the target by 2025."
So, the target is moved forward by three years. Furthermore, Daimler says its goal is "achieving a European average fleet emissions level of 100 grams for Mercedes-Benz Cars, including its Smart brand, by 2020." Daimler's first highly anticipated electric vehicle is the upcoming production version of the long-range Mercedes-Benz Generation EQ battery electric crossover. This BEV is slotted for production in 2019, though the date may have been moved forward in Daimler's latest reshuffling.
Daimler later intends to launch a whole lineup of plug-in electric and hybrid vehicles under its newly formed EQ Power and EQ Power + sub brands.