Mercedes-Benz Cars more than tripled its sales of electric cars and plug-in hybrids in 2020 as they sold 160,000 plug-in hybrids and fully electric vehicles worldwide (+228.8%). This includes around 87,000 units in the fourth quarter.
The share of battery-electric and hybrid vehicles rose to 7.4%. In 2019, the figure was just two per cent.
Of the more than 160,000 xEVs (which is what the company calls both BEV and PHEVs together), about 48,700 vehicles are battery-electric cars. The German carmaker based in Stuttgart says sales of around 20,000 EQCs, 1,700 units of the EQV and around 27,000 Smart EQs were made last year. Particularly in the case of electric Smart (+45 per cent compared to 2019), the German environmental bonus, which was increased twice in 2020 (the first time in February, and then the innovation bonus was added in the summer as part of the Corona stimulus package), is likely to have provided a strong boost to sales in Germany.
Conversely, Mercedes has sold over 110,000 plug-in hybrids. It had already been apparent for some time that the German company would be able to register high demand here: In Germany, according to the environmental bonus applications up to the end of November, the PHEV versions of the E-Class, A-Class and C-Class – not including Smart – were the most sought-after Mercedes models.
In the summer (shortly after the innovation premium was introduced), the Smart EQ Coupé and the PHEV versions of the A-Class family were sold out. In the case of the A 250 e, this was primarily the Edition 2020 special model. With the innovation bonus and the environmental bonus, the price of the A 250 e dropped to the level of the significantly weaker A 180 (100 kW gasoline engine) or A 160 d (70 kW diesel engine). Besides, there were some very favourable leasing offers for the model, since sales of the plug-in hybrids were an important building block for Daimler in achieving its CO2 targets.
According to Daimler CEO Ola Källenius, this plan has apparently been a success. “Our internal forecasts for 2020 suggest that we achieved the European CO2 targets for passenger cars last year,” the CEO says in a press release. “Based on our current knowledge, we expect to meet the CO2 targets in Europe again in 2021.”
Not only are more plug-in hybrids to be launched this year (including in the new C-Class and S-Class), increasing their number to more than 20 models. Also, 2021 stands, as the German company says, “above all for the rapidly progressing electrification at Mercedes-Benz Cars.” Based on the new EVA platform, the EQS and EQE are to be presented, plus the compact EQA and EQB. However, Mercedes is talking about “ideas” here – so whether these four models mentioned will also go on sale or even be delivered this year has not yet been confirmed. The target is a 13 per cent xEV share of the total market.
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