March 3, 2020 / 5:28 PM / a month ago

Daimler CEO says 'no issues' with supplies of electric vehicle battery cells

FILE PHOTO: Ola Kaellenius, CEO of German luxury car manufacturer Daimler AG, speaks at the annual results news conference in Stuttgart, Germany, February 11, 2020. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert

(Reuters) - Daimler AG Chief Executive Ola Kaellenius said Tuesday the automaker has ‘no issues’ securing electric vehicle battery cells, and is ramping up battery production to meet high demand for plug-in models.

“There is such a high demand for plug-ins, we are ramping up battery production as we speak,” Kaellenius told reporters on a conference call. Daimler plans to add electric vehicle capacity this year and next year.

Kaellenius said demand for plug-in hybrid models is driven in part by German companies guiding employees who get company cars as a benefit to choose electrified models. The German government also gives substantial tax breaks for hybrid and electric models compared to internal combustion vehicles. Because of those factors, “demand just went through the roof,” Kaellenius said.

Reporting By Joe White; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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