Mercedes’ official date when it plans to completely give up on internal-combustion engines is around the year 2039, but according to a new report, that may happen even sooner. Markus Schäfer is chief of the board for Mercedes-Benz development, as well as COO for the entire group (now called Daimer, but soon to be renamed Mercedes), and he believes the shift to EVs will happen way sooner than the official 2039 deadline.

Electrive points to statements Schäfer made for Handelsblatt, where he said

In any case, we are preparing for an earlier changeover. in terms of products, there is no longer any rational reason to opt for a combustion engine in the near future.

He also explains that he believes the end of sale date for Mercedes ICE vehicles will be determined by the introduction of the Euro 7 emissions standard. The European Commission (EC) is reportedly going to show a draft for what Euro 7 will be like by the end of the year. As a reminder, the current emissions standard enforced on the Old Continent is Euro 6d, which went into effect in January, 2020 (although Euro6b was introduced way back, in 2014).

But even if the EC shows a draft for the future Euro 7 standard, it won’t go into effect immediately (that’s expected to happen around 2025). Schäfer believes that once Euro 7 is introduced, it could be almost impossible to sell ICE vehicles in Europe and that Mercedes needs to be ready for this before 2039. He said

Depending on which regulations are applied in the end, the outlook for internal combustion vehicles can change dramatically – up to a scenario that makes it almost impossible to register internal combustion vehicles after 2025.

Don’t expect Mercedes to just stop selling ICE overnight. It will be a gradual shift that will see the manufacturer steadily drop its fuel-burning offerings without launching a direct replacement. Schäfer expects the number of ICE vehicles on offer in the Mercedes lineup to drop

By 40 per cent by 2025 and by 70 per cent by 2030.

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