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'An exceptional degree of uncertainty': Mercedes-Benz abandons 2030 electric-only production target
Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

'An exceptional degree of uncertainty': Mercedes-Benz abandons 2030 electric-only production target

Luxury car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz will no longer target 2030 as the year it will complete its transition into manufacturing electric vehicles only.

After announcing the goal in 2021, the German automaker blamed "market conditions" for a lack of EV sales and consumer demand not meeting expectations, a reality nearly every major automaker is now seeing.

The company announced in its investors outlook that rather than go all-electric by 2030, it plans to be "in a position to cater to different customer needs," which include an all-electric drivetrain or an electrified combustion engine "until well into the 2030s."

However, the brand did claim that it expects EV sales to make up half of its overall sales in the second half of the 2020s.

In addition to stating that "customers and market conditions will set the pace of the transformation," Mercedes blamed an "exceptional degree of uncertainty" in automotive markets and cited nearly every major world conflict as its reasoning.

"Middle East conflict, the Russia-Ukraine war, and other regional crises" were noted, as well as "tensions" between the United States and China, and even "political relations" between the European Union and China.

Supply chain issues and bottlenecks for critical production components were big risks the company stated, specifically for raw materials and energy. Along with inflation, nearly every conceivable factor was mentioned by Mercedes-Benz as a reason that EVs aren't selling through the roof.

The company was much more confident when it made its ambitious announcement in 2021, committing $47 billion to complete an all-electric output by 2030.

"We are convinced we can do it with strong profitability, and we believe that focus on electrical is the right way to build a successful future and to enhance the value of Mercedes-Benz," head of Mercedes-Benz Ola Källenius said at the time. Mercedes did carve out a trap door for itself in 2021, however, when it said its sale of electric vehicles would be "where market conditions allow."

Clearly that has not yet come to fruition, with the company saying its sales would "soften" and be "slightly lower" in 2024 compared to the previous year.

The company remained confident that it is ready for the "tipping point" into the "all-electric era" and that improved efficiency in terms of battery life is on the horizon.

Mercedes-Benz joins companies like Ford, Honda, and GM in its electric production slowdown, while the Biden administration has delayed requirements for restrictions on exhaust emissions ahead of the 2024 election.

Still, Mercedes-Benz has faced some rather public blowouts for its electric models, which have been seen catching fire, not unlike other electric car brands.

As reported by Breitbart, an EQB model caught fire while being charged in a Malaysian showroom on New Year's Eve 2023. The outlet also noted a Mercedes-Benz EQE350+ electric vehicle caught fire in a Florida garage, causing around $1 million in damage to the home.

At the same time, Mercedes-Benz also announced it is advancing its automated driving programs and will look to "optimize its industrial footprint" as it hopes to lower costs for electric vehicle production to bring down prices.

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Andrew Chapados

Andrew Chapados

Andrew Chapados is a writer focusing on sports, culture, entertainment, gaming, and U.S. politics. The podcaster and former radio-broadcaster also served in the Canadian Armed Forces, which he confirms actually does exist.

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