Mercedes-Benz waters down EV targets as demand decreases

Mercedes-Benz is watering down its 2030 electric vehicle targets following a declining demand for EVs.

Chief executive Ola Källenius said the motoring manufacturer will make petrol cars “well into the 2030s” despite previously pleading that its whole car line-up will be electric by the end of the decade.

Mercedes said it expected electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids to make up 50% of sales by the end of the decade but will still keep building petrol hybrids into 2030, the Telegraph reported.

“The company plans to be in a position to cater to different customer needs, whether it’s an all-electric drivetrain or an electrified combustion engine, until well into the 2030s,” Mercedes said.

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Källenius told Reuters that while Europe’s EV market has grown in recent years it won’t be ready for solely electric sales by 2030.

“It’s not going to be 100% in 2030, obviously… from the whole European market, but probably from the Mercedes side as well,” he said.

“We will be ready … but we will also have tactical flexibility,” he said, referring to the ability to produce electric or combustion-engine vehicles on the same production line.

Last month, Toyota chairman Akio Toyoda predicted that battery-powered electric vehicles will only make up 30% of the global market share.

He stated that “engines will surely remain,” adding that limiting consumer choices and ability to travel by making cars more expensive is not the answer.

“Customers — not regulations or politics — should make that decision,” he said.

New AutoMotive chief executive Ben Nelmes has since countered the argument, saying Toyoda’s prediction has “already been proven wrong”. 

“Six European countries saw battery electric vehicles account for more than 30% of sales in 2023, and if we look at the sales of EVs in China – the world’s largest car market – the country looks set to break that barrier in the near future,” Nelmes said. 

All major car manufacturers need to make sure they do not fall behind in the shift to electric vehicles, so I would gently advise Akio Toyoda to check the numbers and make sure that his company is keeping pace with this global transition.”


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