Mercedes to stop developing petrol engines
Mercedes-Benz has stopped development of petrol and diesel engines to focus on electric vehicles, according to media reports.
Germany's Auto Motor und Sport says Mercedes research and development boss Markus Schaefer has shifted resources away from internal combustion engines towards emerging technology.
Shaefer reportedly told the automotive publication that it has halted development of combustion engines for the time being, although it could still develop parts for existing engines.
Mercedes-Benz first fully electric car, the EQC, goes on sale in Australia this year.
It will be followed by a number of models including an EQA hatchback and EQS sedan in the near future.
Tesla founder Elon Musk congratulated Daimler, parent company of Mercedes, following the news.
Electric is the future! Congratulations Daimler!! https://t.co/Zg2VSj4tjO— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 19, 2019
Other brands have openly discussed the end of petrol and diesel cars.
Volkswagen head of strategy Michael Jost told an automotive conference hosted by VW in 2018 that the next generation of combustion engines will be the manufacturer's last.
"In the year 2026 will be the last product to start on a combustion engine platform," he said.
Volvo boss Håkan Samuelsson said in 2017 that every new Volvo launched from 2019 would be an electric or hybrid model, saying "this announcement marks the end of the solely combustion engine-powered car".
Porsche executive Lutz Meschke told Top Gear at the launch of the new electric Taycan sedan that Porsche is considering a switch to battery power for its entry-level 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman sports cars.
"The 718 just fits EV, doesn't it?" he said.
"The next generation of these cars would be a good time to go all-electric."