Mercedes-Benz will invest €40bn (£34.3bn) into battery electric vehicles over the next decade, owner Daimler announced today, as the race to ditch the internal combustion engine continues apace.
The German marque said that by the end of the decade the majority of its sales would be of electric vehicles, but did not commit to a date for quitting petrol and diesel cars altogether.
From 2025, all new models will only be electrified, while customers will be able to buy an electric car for all existing models.
By that date, it expects electric and hybrid cars to make up 50 per cent of sales, double its previous estimates.
By 2026, Mercedes-Benz will have cut spending on combustion engine and hybrid vehicles by 80 per cent. It warned that this would lead to some job losses as the firm restructures.
“We really want to go for it … and be dominantly, if not all electric, by the end of the decade,” said chief executive Ola Källenius.
In order to speed its transition, Daimler said it would build eight new battery plants, four of which will be in Europe.
It also announced the acquisition of British start-up Yasa, which makes electric engines. The firm’s 250 staff will continue to work from its headquarters in Oxford.
Today’s announcement comes a week on from the European Union’s announcement that combustion engine cars would effectively be banned from 2035.