The VW Group describes the EU project as enforceable but ambitious. Just like VW, Mercedes now sees politics as having a duty to act.

The car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz has generally welcomed the EU Parliament’s decision to phase out combustion engines from 2035.

“By 2030, we are ready to become fully electric wherever market conditions allow,” said the head of the group’s external relations department, Eckart von Klaeden, of the German Press Agency in Stuttgart.

Mercedes: Acceptance of new technologies is important

“In principle, we welcome the decision,” said von Klaeden. “The decision makes politicians responsible for providing the necessary infrastructure. Decisive for the success of climate protection in transport is the acceptance of the new and not the ban on traditional technologies.» The manufacturer offers seven fully electric models, with more to follow.

VW considers the decision to be enforceable

In principle, the VW Group considers the envisaged ban to be an enforceable step. This means that an “ambitious but achievable goal” has been formulated, according to Wolfsburg. Such a decision was already expected. «The turn to electromobility is irreversible. It is the only ecologically, technologically and economically sensible way to replace combustion engines as quickly as possible.”

So far, the Volkswagen Group as a whole has not given a fixed date for a general phase-out of combustion engines, citing regionally different demand conditions. This sparked criticism from climate protectors. However, some brands of Europe’s largest car group have announced that they will phase out petrol and diesel technology step by step and locally and will soon no longer develop new engine generations for them.

VW welcomes new planning security

From the point of view of the Wolfsburg headquarters, the political plans at EU level are now signaling “planning security for companies and consumers”. Intensive negotiations are also currently underway about new rules for the emission of harmful nitrogen oxides (NOx) – in this context, several car manufacturers had warned of technically unrealistic standards or high follow-up costs for customers.

Volkswagen intends to expand its range of electric and hybrid vehicles in the coming years. Billions more are planned, but for some environmental organizations the conversion is not going fast enough. In addition, VW relies solely on battery technology for cars, fuel cell technology, for example, is not being pursued any further here.

VW calls for “appropriate political measures”

The group called for the transport system to be quickly rebuilt in parallel with the growing range of e-models. “It is now important that the political goals are also underpinned by appropriate political measures in all member states. This includes an adequate supply of battery cells, a much faster expansion of the charging infrastructure and an accelerated energy transition.”