Mercedes-Benz Cars has avoided emissions penalties by tripling its global sales of plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles and meeting European CO2 targets.
It announced today (Jan 8) that it sold more than 160,000 of what it collectively terms xEVs worldwide in 2020 – an increase of 228 per cent.
Some 87,000 plug-in hybrids and EVs were shifted in the fourth quarter, with their share of Mercedes-Benz Cars rising to 7.4 per cent from two per cent in 2019.
However, Mercedes-Benz Cars as a whole suffered a 10.3 per cent drop in sales last year to 2,202,578 vehicles.
Mercedes-Benz head Ola Källenius, who is also board chairman of parent company Daimler, said: ‘We more than tripled sales of our plug-in hybrids and all-electric cars.
‘Demand for these vehicles increased sharply, especially towards the end of the year.
‘Our internal forecasts for 2020 indicate that we will have achieved the European CO2 targets for passenger cars last year.
‘We will continue to push forward with our “Electric first” strategy and the further expansion of our electric model initiative.
‘Based on our current knowledge, we expect to meet the CO2 targets in Europe again in 2021.’
Four new Mercedes-EQ models will be launched this year: the EQA, EQB, EQE and EQS.
In addition, its plug-in hybrid family, which currently boasts more than 20 variants, will be joined by electrified derivatives of the C-Class and the S-Class.
Mercedes-Benz Cars said it expects to increase its plug-in hybrid and EV share to approximately 13 per cent this year.
Its main overall sales driver last year was China, which saw an 11.7 per cent rise to 774,382 units. In Europe, however, sales were down by 16.4 per cent to 784,183 cars.