A. Rzepecki: "Over the next 20 years, we want to produce a completely zero-emission fleet"


One of the brands presented on the occasion of the Global E-Mobility Forum was Mercedes-Benz. Aleksander Rzepecki, Electric Vehicles Manager Central Europe, told us about the plans of the German concern related to electromobility.

Mercedes has been implementing the strategy for some time, CASE, of which electromobility is one of the elements. - We design our cars to be connected autonomously, shared in the future and of course electric. This letter E is currently the most important, fastest growing element of the car ecosystem in Poland - emphasizes Rzepecki.

The brand's plans to introduce low-emission vehicles provide for the discontinuation of the production of vehicles with internal combustion engines within the next two decades. - In line with our strategy, we want to produce a completely zero-emission fleet over the next 20 years. This means that in 20 years Mercedes-Benz cars will not emit any exhaust gases. They will be electric cars, maybe also hydrogen or produced in other technologies - a representative of the German manufacturer forecasts.

To meet the objectives set in this way, Mercedes is already successively introducing the market another counterparts of popular combustion models. - We have now introduced the first Mercedes EQ, the equivalent of our internal combustion GLC. We also have a range of three electric Smarts, which is by the way the world's first brand to move away from internal combustion engines. In the coming years, we will be expanding our offer so that each of our basic models has their electric equivalent. Added to this, of course, is the entire hybrid plug-in brand, i.e. hybrid with a plug, which we will have several dozen - said A. Rzepecki.

Money, range, charging - three barriers to electromobility

Poles are still reluctant to use electric cars, putting more often on older often more than 10 years old models. A. Rzepecki notices three areas that are an obstacle to the growth of electric cars: - The first is the price of vehicles, the second is the range of cars, and thirdly the charging infrastructure - he lists. - In the case of prices, we are glad that actions are currently being taken by the authorities to subsidize these cars a little. In our opinion, this is still a bit insufficient and the implementation of these solutions is too slow. At present, it even makes it difficult to sell electric cars, because customers refrain from buying while waiting for these co-financing. It does not change the fact that this is an important element and it goes in the right direction - emphasizes our interlocutor.

- When it comes to range, we segment cars depending on the needs - continues A. Rzepecki. - Smart has 160 km range. It is not much for a car, but it is a typical city car, and in the city no one makes more than 40-50 km a day. 160 is really much more than needed. On the other hand, we have Mercedes models like EQC, for example, which has a range of over 400 km, which is very real. I even have a print sceen from one of the journalists who covered 450 km and had 26 km of spare. That's why this coverage gets really attractive. In this case, it is the craftsmanship of our engineers and the merit of the technology in which we manufacture batteries, which, by the way, will soon be also produced in Poland in our new factory in Jawor - he emphasizes.

According to Rzepecki, the last of these barriers, i.e. charging infrastructure, requires cooperation between producers and authorities. - In this aspect, there must be cooperation between infrastructure manufacturers, between private parties, between car manufacturers and authorities. Public infrastructure in Poland is not yet very well developed, so we hope that companies operating in this industry, as well as the authorities themselves will support the development of this infrastructure - said a representative of Mercedes, who adds that as a brand they are trying to overcome this barrier by their own means: - We believe that we are able to largely meet the needs of the customer when it comes to charging the car, offering a comprehensive opportunity to charge the vehicle at home or in the company. All studies show that 80-85 percent of charges take place in the place where we live, or is the headquarters of the company where the car is driving. By offering the customer the possibility of such charging at home, we basically deal with most of his problems related to the barrier of the lack of chargers. Therefore, among others as the first company in Poland we have introduced a comprehensive service consisting in the fact that the customer can buy a car with a charger, the entire installation, maintenance, service, etc. - summed up A. Rzepecki.

For the introduction of this service, Mercedes-Benz received a distinction in the Electromobility Leaders plebiscite, which preceded the Global E-Mobility Forum.

(photo in the header: Fleet Manager)