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Mercedes benz delaying ev strategy

Mercedes-Benz the Latest to Delay EV-Only Aspirations as Sales Soften

As global electric car sales enter a slowdown, it’s no surprise that carmakers are scaling back their plans to go fully electric within the next few years. Mercedes-Benz has joined global powerhouses like GM and Ford in slowing down their aspirations, stating that it will continue to see combustion engine cars well into the next decade and only expects 50 per cent of its worldwide sales to be EVs in 2030.

RELATED: Your Ultimate Tassie Road Trip Could Start With an EV, But Should It?

Mercedes-Benz EQG unveiled at CES 2024 Image: Mercedes-Benz
Mercedes-Benz EQG unveiled at CES 2024 Image: Mercedes-Benz

A few years back, the German luxury car brand had announced plans to sell only electric cars ‘wherever market conditions permit’ from 2030 onwards but the current market has an appetite for petrol and hybrids especially with EVs losing steam on the back of issues regarding charging infrastructure and high prices. 

While the carmaker is focused on an eventual path to electrification, the journey has been slowed down extensively. “Customers and market conditions will set the pace of the transformation,” says Mercedes and it will cater to different customers and their needs including also offering electrified combustion engine cars. Even in Europe—one of the biggest markets in terms of EV sales—forecasts for only electric sales have been cautiously put back on hold and it still constitutes a small chunk of the market. 

Hence, expect Mercedes-Benz to continue launching combustion engine cars and introduce range extender versions of its EVs in the future to remove the basic issues of range anxiety and charging amongst buyers.

Electric mercedes benz cla
Electric Mercedes-Benz CLA concept | Image: Supplied

Going forward, the next wave of Mercedes cars will be based on a Modular Mercedes architecture that has been developed for both EVs and petrol cars with the electric new CLA due next year to be the first model from this platform. Of course, let us not forget the entry of the electric G-Wagon to sit alongside the combustion engine version and more electrified performance cars. 

The brand believes that battery costs per kilowatt hour can be reduced by more than 30 per cent in the next few years, thanks to optimised cell and module design and improved vehicle integration.

In Australia, sales of electric cars more than doubled in 2023 in comparison to the year before, owing to new launches and more affordable entrants but like other markets, going full electric is still a long way off.

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