Automobile

Daimler speeds up plans to be electric-only automaker

Mercedes-Benz owner Daimler is stepping up the pace of its transition to electric mobility and plans to largely eliminate internal-combustion engines before the end of the decade.

“We are switching from EV first to EV only,” a high-ranking executive familiar with the plan told Automobilwoche, a sister publication of Automotive News Europe.

This means that every model series will have a full-electric version, while production, sales and structures will be switched to a business without diesel and gasoline engines.

Plug-in hybrids could also cease to play a role after 2030, Automobilwoche reported.

However, there will initially be no firm date for dropping combustion engine cars because they will be in demand after 2030 in some markets, depending on the charging infrastructure, Automobilwoche reported.

Daimler CEO Ola Kallenius plans to present details of the plan at a strategy day on July 22, sources told Automobilwoche.

The automaker is expected to announce plans to introduce new platforms for additional electric models as well as its own software operating system in 2024.

Previously, Daimler had said it only expected plug-in hybrids or purely electric vehicles to account for more than 50 percent of passenger car sales by the end of the decade.

The move to all-electric would put Mercedes on a par with other automakers that are shifting to electric-only sales, especially in Europe where tougher CO2 emissions limits are expected to make combustion engine cars unviable.

Opel CEO Michael Lohscheller said during parent Stellantis’ electrification strategy update on Thursday that the automaker will become a pure electric brand in Europe by 2028.

Audi said last month that it will phase out production of combustion engines by early next decade except in China.

The Jaguar brand has said it will become all-electric starting in 2025. Volvo and Bentley have said they expect to be electric-only brands by 2030. Ford has said it will only sell full-electric cars in Europe by 2030.

BMW has a more cautious approach. It says it expects half of its sales to be full-electric models by 2030.

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