Who saw it coming? It was kind of obvious, wasn't it? Mercedes now has to admit that it was perhaps a little too euphoric about its own transition to electromobility. 

During the press conference on the 2023 annual results, the Swabian premium manufacturer said that it was now aiming for a 50 per cent share for plug-in hybrids and pure electric cars by 2030. Compared to the original plan, this is a delay of five years. In July 2021, the car manufacturer still estimated that PHEVs and BEVs would be responsible for half of all Mercedes sales by 2025. 

If you follow the three pointed star a little more closely, you may remember the "Ambition 2039" strategy that was presented a few years ago. One sentence in the extremely comprehensive document particularly caught the attention of various journalists: "By the end of this decade, Mercedes-Benz Cars aims to be fully electric - where market conditions permit." The statement was somewhat vague, but on the other hand clear enough to address the company's ambitious EV targets. 

In a new document for investors, Mercedes estimates that hybrids and EVs will account for "up to 50 per cent" in the second half of the decade, but only "where market conditions allow". 

The car manufacturer goes on to say that it will "be in a position to respond to various customer needs well into the 2030s". Of course, it can also be said that cars with combustion engines will still be pumped onto the world's markets in ten years or more. 

Meanwhile, CEO Ola Källenius also had to admit that conventionally powered cars will continue to form the backbone of the company's cash flow. He told Bloomberg Television that cost parity between combustion and electric cars is "many years away". The presentation to investors showed that the manufacturing costs of electric cars will not fall to the level of combustion cars this decade. This is despite the fact that petrol and diesel production is likely to become more expensive as soon as Euro 7 comes into force.  

Last year, Mercedes delivered 401,943 plug-in hybrids and all-electric cars, an increase of 20.5 per cent compared to the previous year. PHEV sales fell by 12.5 per cent to 161,275 units, while EV sales rose by 61.3 per cent to 240,668 units. Electrified cars accounted for 19.7 per cent of the total volume (compared to 16.3 per cent in 2022). The target for 2024 is a share of between 19 and 21 per cent. 

Let's look a little further ahead: the new MMA platform has been developed primarily for electric cars, but still supports the use of combustion engines. It will be the basis for at least four models that have already been confirmed in the product roadmap: CLA, CLA Shooting Brake and GLB. The already heavily teased "Little G", the little brother of the legendary G-Class, is also likely to use this base. 

The all-electric models should deliver a range of up to 750 kilometres (466 miles) according to WLTP and support charging speeds of up to 300 kW. This means that a range of 400 kilometres (249 miles) can be recharged in 15 minutes. Mercedes also promises bidirectional charging. Depending on the model and version, the power output should be between a good 200 and 540 PS.

Gallery: 2024 Mercedes-Maybach EQS SUV First Drive Review