- Mercedes-Benz CEO Ola Kallenius likens the shift towards zero-emission vehicles to a marathon, not a sprint, as the industry shifts its focus towards EVs.
- With a favorable market response, Mercedes-Benz's EV range gains momentum, alongside significant increases in sales figures.
- Despite the bullish outlook on EVs, Kallenius emphasizes the necessity of flexibility in balancing traditional combustion engines with electric vehicles.
Embracing the zero-emission vehicular era should be likened to a marathon and not a sprint, states Ola Kallenius, the CEO of Germany's esteemed automaker, Mercedes-Benz.
In a conversation with "Squawk Box Europe," Kallenius accentuates the mammoth task set before the automobile industry as it moves to the forefront of electric vehicle (EV) innovation. "It's important to understand that the shift towards zero-emission motoring is akin to a marathon. In my estimation, we are perhaps at the eighth or ninth kilometer of this journey," he shared with CNBC's Annette Weisbach. "This isn't a race to be hastily won. Our strategic direction is crystal clear - we are sowing seeds for the future, aiming at a zero-emission landscape."
Kallenius reported a favorable response to Mercedes-Benz's electric vehicles. The prestigious lineup includes notable names like the EQA, EQB, and the EQE SUV.
These comments were shared around the same time Mercedes-Benz Group announced its second-quarter earnings. The EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) saw an 8% rise, reaching 5 billion euros, approximately $5.48 billion. For electric vehicles, sales of battery electric vehicles touched 61,211, a significant improvement from the 31,259 in the same period of 2022. The quarter's plug-in hybrid sales were 34,699, a modest increase from last year's 32,335.
"We have successfully rolled out our first generation of electric vehicles, and we're certainly gaining traction," Kallenius asserted. The automaker also plans to invest in new architectures for mid-2020s EVs that will shape their electric vehicle range for the latter half of the decade.
He also emphasised the need for strategic flexibility in balancing traditional combustion engines with electric vehicles, given the vast number of diesel or gasoline cars currently on the roads. Major global economies are strategizing to replace fossil fuel vehicles with electric cars. The transition to low- and zero-emission mobility is a formidable challenge for both lawmakers and businesses.
WOM Money Picks
Be a part of the winning team | 81% Success Rate.