Before the first quarter ends, Daimler AG will pick a partner to help it produce the emissions-free engines it requires for it to attain its goal of becoming the greenest automaker in the industry.
In an interview with Automotive News Europe, Herbert Kohler, head of e-drive and future mobility at Daimler, said that the decision will be made before April.
Kohler didn’t name the companies that are being considered. However, he did say that since it already has the technical concept for an electric motor that was developed in 2005 for its concept F600, Daimler is looking for a supplier with production competence.
Daimler doesn’t want its expertise on batteries (lifespan and storage capacity) and on electric motors to be shared outside of the company. Kohler, who also serves as Daimler's chief environmental officer, said that its core competence is propulsion systems, which is something that won’t change in the era of electric vehicles.
One of Daimler’s partners is German chemicals and energy specialist Evonik Industries AG, which handles the research, development and production of cells for lithium-ion batteries.
Furthermore, EV maker Tesla Motors Inc. supplies the lithium ion batteries of the second-generation Smart ForTwo electric vehicle. Daimler has invested $50 million in Tesla. Daimler has been spending billions on future powertrains. [via autonews - sub. required]