Mr. Källenius, Daimler has long resisted the production of battery cells.

Now get in big.

Where does the change of heart come from?

Sven Astheimer

Editor responsible for corporate reporting.

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Susanne Preuss

Business correspondent in Stuttgart.

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In July, we presented a significantly accelerated electric strategy for Mercedes-Benz: We are preparing to become fully electric before the end of the decade - wherever market conditions allow.

From 2025 onwards, all new vehicle architectures will be purely electric.

The supply of high-quality battery cells at competitive costs is a crucial key to this ambitious electric ramp-up.

To achieve our goal, we will need capacities of more than 200 gigawatt hours by the end of the decade.

And our attitude is clear: we are not waiting for the transformation.

We drive them.

That's what it's about.

What are your plans specifically?

We are acquiring 33 percent of the battery cell manufacturer ACC. Stellantis and TotalEnergies will be involved in the same amount. We expect that ACC will develop and produce the next generation of battery cells and battery modules - tailored to the specific requirements of Mercedes-Benz. Through the partnership, we secure the scope of delivery, use economies of scale and can offer our customers superior battery technology. At the same time, we are jointly laying the foundation for a new battery champion. Mercedes-Benz is a global company, but with this project we can also make a contribution to ensuring that Europe remains a center of the automotive industry.

If you already manufacture battery cells, you could also start manufacturing chips. This is what is currently lacking in every nook and cranny.

A silicon wafer factory requires an investment of between 5 and 10 billion euros.

Large manufacturers such as Intel or TSMC have announced investments in the three-digit billion range for the next few years.

So this is definitely not an area where Mercedes should get in too.

But we work with these companies.

At the moment, it is not the absolute high-tech chips that are missing, but primarily those with a size of 30 to 200 nanometers - this is technology that was developed a few years ago.

We are therefore working with the manufacturers to convert our technical solutions to the newer generation.

It's not just about building capacity, it's about working together on the complex network of parts.

Does Mercedes plan to invest in semiconductors when it comes to special systems?

When it comes to design, we're already doing this today, i.e. when it comes to the question of what a chip must be able to do.

This is important with a view to the next generation of hardware architecture.

Our planned own operating system MB.OS also includes a consolidated chip architecture.

In the past, you had a control unit and a software package for many functions.

As a vehicle integrator, you had to make sure that all of these control units communicate with one another.

With MB.OS we have significantly fewer but more powerful computers in the car.

The software architecture is no longer a patchwork quilt, but a holistic solution for which we are the architect.

This is a paradigm shift.

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