During a speaking engagement in Stuttgart last Thursday, Dieter Zetsche, Daimler AG’s CEO, said that governments must offer consumers financial incentives to buy electric vehicles to help compensate for the extra cost for manufacturers to build cars.
Zetsche says the costs of electric autos might run several thousand Euros more than conventional vehicles for the foreseeable future.
Daimler is creating battery-powered versions of the gull-wing SLS sports car and two-seater Smart city car to meet regulatory demands to decrease carbon-dioxide emissions and compete with BMW AG.
Daimler makes Mercedes-Benz cars and trucks. Zetsche says that manufacturers will have difficulty making a profit from electric vehicles, which will likely account for less than 10 percent of the cars on the road in 10 years.
He adds that the growth of electric car sales will happen “in many small steps.” During a company event that talked about sustainability and ethics, Zetsche said that government incentives for electrical cars must be linked to technological advances like battery performance.
Aiming to produce over 10,000 electric cars by 2012, Daimler is building a factory in eastern Germany to make lithium-ion power packs. [via Bloomberg]