According to current forecasts, the global passenger car market is expected to exceed 91 million vehicles in 2030 – around 25 percent more than in 2022. Our task at Mercedes-Benz is to meet this growing need for individual mobility in a sustainable way. To achieve this, we have defined a clear path on which we have reached important milestones throughout our value chains in recent months.
The core of our business continues to be convincing products: we now offer at least one fully electric model in every segment we serve – from the compact EQA to the spacious EQS SUV. And this has been well received: in 2022, more than twice as many customers opted for a vehicle from our electric brand Mercedes-EQ than in the previous year.
With our concept car Vision EQXX, we underlined our claim to be the innovation leader in e-mobility: On its record-breaking drive from Stuttgart to Silverstone, it covered over 1,200 kilometres on a single battery charge with an average consumption of just 8.3 kWh/100 km.
In order to attract even more people to electric cars in the long term, we also need a well-developed charging infrastructure. Via Mercedes me Charge, our customers already have access to around one million charging points worldwide. In addition, we will build up our own high-power charging network network in North America, Europe, China and other key markets.
Many things are expected from Mercedes-Benz – inside and outside our factory gates. We want to live up to these expectations in a sustainable way. This includes the ambition of making our fleet of new passenger cars net carbon-neutral by 2039. By 2030, we plan to be around halfway there. To make faster progress on climate protection, we need maximum commitment and even stronger cooperation between politics, industry and society.
In order to conserve valuable resources, one of our major goals is the circular economy. In this regard, the battery is an important factor for electric vehicles. That is why we are building our own battery recycling factory in Kuppenheim, where we will achieve a recycling rate of over 96 per cent thanks to innovative technology.
In addition to sustainable products, we are increasingly focused on sustainable production. Since 2022, our own production sites are CO2-neutral on the balance sheet. By 2030, we want to cover more than 70 percent of the energy demand in production with renewable energies – especially by expanding solar and wind energy at our sites and concluding further corresponding power purchase agreements.
Compelling products continue to be the core of our business: We now offer at least one fully electric model in every segment in which we compete – from the compact EQA to the spacious EQS SUV. In order to conserve valuable resources in the process, one of our major goals is the circular economy. That is why already during the development of our vehicles we use a "design for circularity" approach. For example, we already consider the recycling of our batteries during their development.
It’s not only the demand for green energy that is increasing, it’s also the demand for responsibly sourced raw materials. This is why we work with the Canadian government, for example. Through direct contact with raw material producers, we want to open up new sources for important materials. This gives us greater influence on sustainable supply chains and the observance of human rights all the way to the mines. With our "Raw Materials Report" we create more public transparency. Additionally, tools like the “Human Rights Respect System” and our “Responsible Sourcing Standards” help us a lot, which is why we encourage our direct suppliers to comply with them. And with our governance and compliance structures, we ensure a responsible approach to future technologies – be it big data, automated driving or artificial intelligence.
New technologies and business models also require new skills. As an employer, we are responsible for more than 170,000 colleagues from 145 nations. That is why in Germany alone, we will invest more than € 1.3 billion in the qualification, training and further education of our employees by 2030. We are also strengthening traditional locations such as Stuttgart-Untertürkheim or Berlin-Marienfelde by developing them into centres of excellence for future technologies.
Beyond the boundaries of our company, education is also a concern for us: we make donations to fund a global fellowship programme that will provide knowledge, coaching and scholarships to thousands of young people from around the world – in order to implement innovative projects in the areas of environmental sustainability and decarbonisation. To raise the seed money for the programme, we auctioned the world’s most valuable automobile – a Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé – for the record price of € 135 million.
At Mercedes-Benz, we have been conceiving sustainability holistically for many years. Environmental protection, social aspects and good corporate governance must go hand in hand. That is why on the path to the all-electric future we want clean supply chains and respect for human rights, from the raw materials mines all the way to our customers. The right governance helps us in this regard, for example, in the form of our "Human Rights Respect System".
There are many expectations towards Mercedes-Benz: Our customers expect first-class products. Our colleagues expect future-proof jobs. Our shareholders expect an appropriate return on their investment. And society expects our commitment – inside and outside the factory gates. All these claims are legitimate. The best way to deliver on them is to make our company economically successful and sustainable in the long term.
At Mercedes-Benz, we are firmly committed to this. We have set the course with our sustainable business strategy. On the following pages, you’ll read about the progress we made in 2022. We wish you an interesting read and look forward to a constructive dialogue with you.