Daimler made an interesting announcement today. The German automaker introduced a new “lead by example” policy to make electric vehicles the standard company cars for its senior management. The vehicle lineup will primarily consist of Mercedes’ plug-in hybrid vehicles, but also some all-electric vehicles will be made available.
The automaker also announced a 30 million euros investment into extending the company’s own charging infrastructure across its facilities in order to facilitate the new program.
The company launched a pilot program for senior management in the Stuttgart region, where managers have now been driving the all-electric B-Class since April 2015. One of these managers is Harald Kröger, responsible for E-Drive development at Daimler. Kröger said about his experience with the program:
“I can only commend to my colleagues to experience themselves over a longer period the viability of our battery-electric vehicles in everyday use. I never cease to be amazed by their completely silent electric “cruising” ability and yet at the same time by the impressively sporty nature of the electric drive system, which immediately places its full torque at disposal of any engine speed. I am delighted that our eMobility initiative will give managers the opportunity to experience this drive system.”
That was for its pilot program, but the actual program announced today will focus on Mercedes’ plug-in hybrids: S 500 e in Saloon, the C 350 e in Saloon, Estate and extended-wheelbase versions, the GLE 500 e 4MATIC, the GLC 350 e 4MATIC and the new E 350 e Saloon. These vehicles have a relatively short all-electric range (generally less than 25 miles) before the gas engine kicks in.
Ola Källenius, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Sales and Marketing, said about the new policy:
“We are continuing on the path of zero-emission driving with consistency. This is why we are making electric mobility an integral part of the everyday lives of our top management to set an example and to provide a clear role model.”
The company says that they already built 556 charging points on the Stuttgart area alone, where it was operating its pilot program. The new 30 million euros investment should go a long way in expanding similar coverage to all of Daimler’s sites.
Employees outside of upper management can also have access to company’s fleet of electric vehicles:
Interesting offers for employeesAll Daimler AG’s staff are able to take advantage of the steadily growing range of eMobility vehicles. Both partially and fully electric vehicles are available at attractive terms through the employee car scheme. This offer includes the smart fortwo electric drive and the B 250 e as well as the GLE 500 e and the C 350 e. The research project “charge@work” that was launched in October 2013 offers employees the use of electric vehicles for both business and private use and has been developed alongside the company’s charging infrastructure. Since that date, they have been able to hire a smart fortwo electric drive from the car pools at the company’s Möhringen, Untertürkheim and Sindelfingen sites – for a weekend, a week or a whole month, as they prefer. The idea has been enthusiastically received and taken up by employees: The disctance that has been covered with zero emission in the first year and a half alone is equivalent of 40 round-the-world trips.
It appears to be an interesting program, but it should be even more interesting once the company will have expanded its lineup of all-electric vehicles. Last month, Daimler green-lighted 4 new long-range electric vehicles, which will reportedly be two sedans and two crossover SUVs build on Mercedes’ electric vehicle architecture “EVA”. The first vehicle should hit the market in 2018.