Nov 14, 2019

The bumpy transition toward electric vehicles

Ben Geman, author of Generate

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Daimler announced over $1 billion in job cuts over the next three years on Thursday, citing the costs of moving the company toward a more climate-friendly product line and meeting EU emissions targets.

Why it matters: The German auto behemoth's announcement is a sign of how the wider industry's movement toward electric vehicles and automated technology will be a bumpy ride.

  • "Daimler has been burning through cash in the past few months as it grapples with the cost of electrification," the Financial Times notes.
  • The company has various climate and EV goals, such as having plug-ins and full electrics comprising over 50% of Mercedes-Benz car sales by 2030.

The big picture: It also comes amid sluggish global auto sales. The company, at an investor presentation Thursday, cited "headwinds" from trade disputes and "overall economic uncertainty."

What they're saying: CEO Ola Källenius said that the company's metamorphosis will have a "negative impact" on earnings in 2020 and 2021.

  • "The expenditure needed to achieve the CO2 targets require comprehensive measures to increase efficiency in all areas of our company. This also includes streamlining our processes and structures," he said in a statement.

Quick take: U.S. automakers are hardly immune from the climate and EV-related forces that are acting on Daimler — pressures that would grow stronger if a Democrat wins the White House.

  • As Axios' Joann Muller pointed out during the now-ended strike at General Motors, that dispute was in part a sign of how automakers' traditional business models will have to change.

Go deeper: Electric vehicles see both gains and growing pains

Go deeper

Updated 17 mins ago - World

In photos: People around the world rally against racism

Despite a ban on large gatherings implemented in response to the coronavirus pandemic, protesters rally against racism in front of the American Embassy in Paris on June 6. Photo: Julien Mattia/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Tens of thousands of people have continued to rally in cities across the world against racism and show their support this week for U.S. demonstrators protesting the death in police custody of George Floyd.

Why it matters: The tense situation in the U.S. has brought the discussion of racism and discrimination onto the global stage at a time when most of the world is consumed by the novel coronavirus.

George Floyd protest updates

Protesters in Washington, D.C. on June 6. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Thousands of demonstrators are gathering in cities across the U.S. and around the world to protest the killing of George Floyd. Huge crowds have assembled in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Chicago for full-day events.

Why it matters: Twelve days of nationwide protest in the U.S. has built pressure for states to make new changes on what kind of force law enforcement can use on civilians and prompted officials to review police conduct.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 6,852,810 — Total deaths: 398,211 — Total recoveries — 3,071,142Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 1,917,080 — Total deaths: 109,702 — Total recoveries: 500,849 — Total tested: 19,778,873Map.
  3. Public health: Why the pandemic is hitting minorities harder — Coronavirus curve rises in FloridaHow racism threatens the response to the pandemic Some people are drinking and inhaling cleaning products in attempt to fight the virus.
  4. Tech: The pandemic is accelerating next-generation disease diagnostics — Robotics looks to copy software-as-a-service model.
  5. Business: Budgets busted by coronavirus make it harder for cities to address inequality Sports, film production in California to resume June 12 after 3-month hiatus.
  6. Education: Students and teachers flunked remote learning.