In Europe, the share of electric cars is increasing, heavily driven by regulation and government incentives. Last year, electrically chargeable cars made up 10.5% percent of the European market.
Mercedes said Thursday that from 2025 all newly launched vehicle architectures would be electric only, referring to mechanical structures that can be shared among different models.
The company has said that its model lineup will be climate neutral by 2039 throughout its chain of production, but had not specified any date for halting sales of internal combustion engines. For now, sales of highly profitable gasoline and diesel sedans and SUVs are providing the cash to invest in the changeover to electric cars.
Other carmakers including Volkswagen's Audi, General Motors and Volvo have also indicated they are moving away from gasoline and diesel engines over the long term.
The new Mercedes electric strategy follows proposals from the European Union's executive commission to tighten limits on carbon dioxide emissions, the primary greenhouse gas blamed by scientists for global warming and climate change. The latest proposal envisions eliminating C02 emissions from cars by 2035. China is also imposing regulations requiring more zero-local emission cars, while the shift to electric cars has moved more slowly in the United States.
“We applaud the high ambition” in the EU climate proposals, chief executive Kallenius said, adding that they would help bring about “a new era of CO2-free living, and we are going to do our part.”