Markus Schafer Interview in Car Magazine

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British Car magazine conducted an interview with Mercedes’ head of development, Markus Schafer.

Via: Car magazine

Mercedes’ head of development, Markus Schafer, gave an interview to the British magazine Car. Asked if solid-state batteries are the future, Markus Schafer thinks it will take some time before they become mainstream.
“Solid state battery technology is seen as the holy grail of EVs promising an increase in stored battery capacity in the same volume compared to current technology, but like the promise of range, solid state batteries have been promising this for a long time”, explain Schafer.

Schafer says conventional batteries have not yet had their last word. “On the other hand, we predicted a big breakthrough for solid state batteries in the middle of this decade but this will not happen. Even so, there is still plenty of room for improvement in conventional Li-Ion batteries”.

Adding silicon to the anode should increase the energy density and there is enough space to do so, but so far we haven’t seen any functional solid state batteries so for now conventional technology is going head to head with solid state batteries.

Schafer doesn’t question a possible higher price of solid state batteries but warns again that the battery and electric motor are still more expensive than a conventional heat engine. Engineers will have to work on this to reduce costs, but this will take time.

Another interesting question was how relevant the Mercedes-AMG One and Mercedes EQXX are for the future.

Schafer answers with two rhetorical questions: “What do we take from AMG One? Well, why did we leave Formula E but stay in Formula One?”
And he explains that Mercedes has been able to push the limits of technology more with F1 than with Formula E because it offers more freedom to improve battery, electrification, energy recovery, internal combustion engine and even sound technology. “F1 is a laboratory on wheels”, says Schafer. For example, the EQXX’s inverter is taken from F1 technology.

Regarding Mercedes EQXX, battery and cell technology are going to be used from 2024 in future Mercedes electric models. Mercedes manufactures its own electric motor because – says Schafer – “e have so many ideas to improve its efficiency and many of these ideas come from the UK-based F1 team”.

Also, a number of sustainable materials used in the Mercedes EQXX will find their way into future Mercedes electric cars.