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Daimler One-Ups Elon Again; Reveals Electric Semi-Truck Weeks Before Tesla

Weeks before Tesla was supposed to shock the world by revealing their battery-powered semi-truck, Mercedes has once again one-upped the Silicon Valley darling by beating them to the punch.  As Bloomberg points out, earlier today Daimler revealed their E-Fuso Vision One prototype, an electric semi-truck that can carry 11 tons of cargo some 220 miles before having to recharge. 

Daimler AG is jumping the gun on Tesla Inc. by showing off a battery-powered heavy-duty truck weeks before the California electric-car maker’s own planned unveiling, in a sign of the growing rivalry between the companies.

 

The E-Fuso Vision One prototype can carry 11 tons of cargo as far as 350 kilometers (220 miles) before recharging, the world’s largest maker of commercial vehicles said Wednesday in a statement. The truck, which would be geared to shorter intra-city trips, could go on sale within four years in Europe, Japan and the U.S.

 

The truck is part of plans by Daimler’s Fuso brand to add electric and hybrid options across its range of trucks and buses. The announcement steals a march on Tesla, which plans to show off a concept truck on Nov. 16. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk engaged in a Twitter tussle with Daimler, a former Tesla shareholder, about electric-vehicle spending last month. Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz is also ramping up a line of battery-powered luxury cars to challenge Tesla models.

Of course, this comes as Elon was recently forced to delay Tesla's much anticipated reveal celebration due to his Model 3 "production hell."

Tesla Semi unveil now Nov 16. Diverting resources to fix Model 3 bottlenecks & increase battery production for Puerto Rico & other affected areas.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk)

As we recently pointed out (see: Porsche And Mercedes Plot Musk Offensive With "Anything Tesla Can Do, We Can Do Better" Strategy), Tesla, once the only real electric car game in town, is suddenly facing an onslaught of competition from major auto OEMs who have already figured out how to weld steel on an assembly line.

Daimler AG plans to spend $1 billion to start production of Mercedes-Benz electric vehicles at its Alabama factory, setting the world’s largest luxury-car maker up to battle with battery-car specialist Tesla Inc. on its home turf.

 

The German automaker will build its fifth battery plant globally and create more than 600 jobs in the region, the company said Thursday in a statement. The Alabama factory will assemble electric sport utility vehicles, taking on Tesla’s Model X and making Stuttgart-based Daimler the first European company to assemble plug-in autos in the U.S.

 

“We’re celebrating our 20th anniversary at our production facility in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and we’re taking this as an opportunity to expand the operation and further fuel growth,” production chief Markus Schaefer said in a Bloomberg TV interview. “We’re very confident for future growth in the U.S. in the long-term. ”

 

Daimler’s investment shows the carmaker’s shift to electric vehicles is taking shape. The German manufacturer is also in talks to expand its Denza joint venture with BYD Co. in China with additional models, Chairman Wang Chuanfu told a group of reporters in the southern Chinese city on Thursday.

As Sanford Bernstein analyst Max Warburton recently noted, companies like Mercedes and BMW are pursuing an "anything Tesla can do, we can do better" strategy.

The company is pursuing an "anything Tesla can do, we can do better" strategy, Sanford Bernstein analyst Max Warburton said in a recent note to investors. "Mercedes is convinced it can match Tesla battery costs, beat its manufacturing and procurement costs, ramp up production faster and have better quality. It is also confident its cars will drive better."

Of course, the only question now is when will Tesla shareholders finally realize that their monopoly is slowly coming to an end?