(Berlin) German premium vehicle maker Mercedes will only reach 50% sales of electric and hybrid cars in 2026, compared to 2025 previously planned, the group’s CEO announced on Wednesday without specifying the reason. .

“Hybrid and electric vehicles will reach 50% of our sales by mid-decade. As of today, that means 2026,” said Ola Källenius, during a speech at the company’s General Assembly.

Mercedes had set this target last year in 2025, as part of a plan to reduce by 2030 its CO2 emissions per car by 50% compared to 2020.

The leader, however, did not justify this postponement.

“In the end, it will be our customers who decide how fast the transition to electric will be,” he said.

Mercedes still intends to achieve the objective of “100% of sales in electric in 2030, where market conditions allow it”, however assured Mr. Källenius.

Currently, the share of electric and hybrid vehicles in overall group sales remains modest at just 10%, according to the latest figures released by the company for the first quarter of 2023.

Like all European manufacturers, Mercedes is leading its electric transition at a forced march, remaining behind Tesla and Chinese brands.

The Stuttgart manufacturer is investing tens of billions of euros to stay in the race, and become a “technological leader in the electric automobile”, even if the conversion of factories takes time, especially in the production units of components and batteries.

The group nevertheless benefits from a rapid increase in its sales of electric vehicles, with an increase of 67% over one year in 2022. In the first quarter, these sales almost doubled.