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Mercedes Benz ditches plan to sell only EVs by 2030

Jordan Hart   

Mercedes Benz ditches plan to sell only EVs by 2030
  • Mercedes-Benz said in 2021 it planned to be all-electric by 2030.
  • The carmaker walked back that goal during an earnings call this week, however.

It looks like Mercedes-Benz won't live up to its goal to be all-electric by 2030.

In 2021, the German carmaker announced plans only to sell electric vehicles — "where market conditions allow" — by 2030. It now seems that market conditions aren't going to allow that.

In its fourth quarter statement released Thursday, the company said it would allow customers' demands to "set the pace" for how much of its fleet will be electric or gas. And, as of Thursday's release, it expects its overall EV sales to reach just 50% by the time 2030 rolls around.

During a September interview at the Munich car show, Mercedes CEO Ola Källenius first hinted at a more narrow outlook for the EV market.

"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, according to Reuters.

Mercedes expects its EV sales to account for about 19% to 21% of new car sales this year.

Mercedes isn't the only automaker that is reevaluating its EV plans. Consumer demand for EVs has cooled as shoppers look for more affordable options and struggle with the lifestyle changes required to own a car that needs charging.

EV owners said that finding public chargers that work can be hard, especially on long road trips. And at home, expensive electricity rates make home charging a costlier solution than automakers first imagined.

"This is a pretty brutal space," Harald Wilhelm, the chief financial officer of Mercedes-Benz, told analysts in 2023. "I can hardly imagine the current status quo is fully sustainable for everybody."

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