As of now, electric vehicles are not the fastest or most powerful cars on the road — but if you have money to burn, do you really care about that? According to Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Mercedes-Benz, luxury car buyers — who already pay large sums of money to show off their status — will be the group that helps speed up the transition to electric vehicles.
Ola Kallenius, CEO of Mercedes-Benz, told Jim Cramer of CNBC that while he believes there will be a market for cars with internal combustion engines for a bit longer, consumers, especially those in the luxury sector, would demand all-electric cars and SUVs sooner rather than later.
In fact, he asserted, it has already begun.
On Thursday, Kallenius remarked in an interview as part of the ESG Impact conference hosted by CNBC, “Step by step, we see the market shifting.” I firmly believe that in this decade, the luxury market will transition from being dominated by high-tech internal combustion engines to an all-electric future.
By 2039, Mercedes hopes to achieve carbon dioxide neutrality. By 2025, all of the company’s models will be available in entirely electric form, and any new vehicle designs it creates after that time will exclusively be powered by electricity.
We’ve all come to the conclusion that climate change is real and that we need to find a solution to the CO2 problem, said Kallenius. And where does that issue come to an end? It comes to an end on our engineers’ desks.
It’s a rather unexpected statement coming from the business that, more than 130 years ago, essentially created the internal-combustion automobile.
According to Kallenius, “We do it because we believe it is right.” But we also do it because we believe it will benefit our businesses. There is no doubt, in my opinion, that we must decarbonize as a contemporary, forward-thinking corporation.
For at least a few more years, Mercedes intends to offer its electric automobiles alongside internal combustion engine variants.
But Kallenius believes that over time, the majority of Mercedes’ wealthy clientele will pick the electric models.
Customers are receptive to switching to electric vehicles “as long as you provide them a greater product to what they had before,” he claimed. “The customer experience is great in terms of the torque, the performance, and everything else.”
It could be difficult to make that changeover in the very near future. Kallenius confirmed that “very much everything is sold out” for the year at this time, despite the fact that Mercedes is accelerating EV manufacturing as soon as it can.
In the first half of 2022, Mercedes delivered around 31,000 electric vehicles.
“Perhaps it’s a nice problem to have,” I believe.