Daimler predicts price declines for EVs, fuel cells
"A few years ago, the price was at about 1,500 euros per kilowatt hour [for a lithium ion battery]. In the midterm we should be at a level of 400 euros," Herbert Kohler, head of e-drive and future mobility at Daimler, told Automotive News Europe.
Kohler said he expected an even bigger price decrease for fuel cells.
"By 2015, we think a fuel cell car will not cost more than a four-cylinder diesel hybrid that meets the Euro 6 emissions standard," Kohler said.
He added that he expects EVs to be more expensive than fuel cells in less than five years.
Daimler's Kohler says the automaker wants to have at least 1,000 fuel cell cars on the road in the next 3 years.
That is why Daimler is working fast to get more fuel cell cars on the road.
"By 2013-2014, we want to bring a four-digit-number of fuel cell vehicles to market," Kohler said.
Daimler has spent the past year running a test fleet of its B-class fuel cells cars. The company plans to launch a second-generation of the car when it starts building the next-generation A- and B-class models on its new front-wheel drive architecture in 2013-2014. Kohler added that Daimler may make fuel cell versions of the C- and E-class luxury models
Another reason Daimler is bullish on fuel cells is because of its cooperation with German supplier Linde AG.
"For gas-producers in general, fuel-cells are a very profitable business-case" Kohler said. "I expect that there will be a network of 1,000 fuel-stations in Germany alone in the mid-term. This means that you will find a fuel-station for your fuel cell within 30 kilometers."
When asked about media speculation that Daimler and Toyota Motor Corp. plan to work closer together on fuel cells, Kohler said: "We have talked about basic technologies and we want to continue that. But a close cooperation is not in sight so far."