Mercedes-Benz has reportedly decided to delay an interim goal for its electrification strategy. Nearly two years ago, the carmaker stated that it was looking to have its electric cars and plug-in hybrids account for half of the company’s sales by 2025. The milestone has now been pushed back by at least a year, as per recent reports.
“As of today, the middle of the decade means 2026,” Mercedes CEO Ola Källenius reportedly said during the company’s annual general meeting. The CEO’s comments were related in a report from the German publication Handelsblatt. This decision comes in light of sales figures for plug-in hybrids and battery-electric vehicles, which were reportedly not meeting expectations.
Mercedes-Benz adopted an “Electric Only” strategy in July 2021. At the time, the company also issued its 50% interim target. “Today’s confirmation of these targets is based on the following assumptions: a significantly higher xEV share of 50% in 2025 and a market scenario in which electric vehicles will have essentially replaced the internal combustion engine by the end of the decade,” the company noted then.
It should be noted that “xEV” for Mercedes-Benz covers both BEVs and PHEVs.
In 2022, hybrid electric vehicles still accounted for nearly 63% of xEV sales. However, with plug-in hybrid sales dropping 14% in the first quarter of 2023 and the discontinuation of the environmental bonus subsidy for plug-in hybrids in Germany, the company’s interim target seemed at risk. The company’s BEVs are reportedly not selling as well, either.
Despite lowering the prices of its EQS and EQE models in China to boost sales, Mercedes-Benz’s battery-electric cars have not fully met expectations. According to data service provider Marklines, the automaker has only been able to sell about 64,000 units of the company’s first EQ model since its launch in 2019. That’s quite a low number, at least compared to players like the Tesla Model Y, which is produced locally.
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