As the world continues to move towards electric vehicles, Mercedes-Benz has announced that it will shift its focus to electric vehicles. The company has announced that it will be introducing more than 20 new vehicles with purely electric powertrains by 2025. According to Mercedes-Benz, more than 80 percent of vehicles sold by the company will be powered by hybrid or purely electric powertrains by 2025.

The “smart mobility” movement is a hot topic: the auto industry is racing to catch up to the technological advances of its tech-savvy customer base, and it’s gaming out the possibilities of electrification. While the rest of the world goes electric, though, the German automaker will be pulling out the stops.

For the last decade, the major car manufacturers of the world have been producing hybrid models that help reduce gas usage without cutting into sales. This, however, is starting to change as the majority of carmakers are now drawing up a plan to produce more electric vehicles. Part of the strategy involves shifting production to factories that can already handle higher battery demands. This is why 2015 will see Mercedes-Benz shift some of its production to its new battery factory in the UK.

Briefing on Business Every Day

Updated on July 22, 2021 

11:35 a.m. ET, July 22, 2021

11:35 a.m. ET, July 22, 2021

The Mercedes-Benz EQA, part of the automaker’s EQ lineup of fully electric models.

The Mercedes-Benz EQA is a completely electric vehicle from Mercedes-EQ Benz’s range. Credit… Getty Images/John Macdougall/Agence France-Presse

Mercedes-Benz announced Thursday that it would turn its emphasis completely to electric vehicles in 2025 and be ready to offer only electric cars by 2030, with the proviso that the move will be dependent on “market circumstances.”

Mercedes has therefore joined a growing number of businesses, including General Motors, Stellantis, and Renault, in declaring their desire to accelerate the death of internal combustion engines in favor of battery-powered cars that emit no emissions at all.

They increasingly don’t have a choice. In 2035, the European Union will essentially prohibit new automobiles with internal combustion engines, while the United Kingdom, Norway, and other nations have set deadlines for fossil-fuel vehicles.

Tesla, which has been poaching well-heeled customers and is constructing a plant in Berlin, is also putting pressure on Mercedes, Daimler’s premium carmaking subsidiary.

Mercedes-Benz said that by 2030, it would spend 40 billion euros ($47 billion) on electric cars, vans, and light commercial vehicles. In 2025, the firm will launch three new electric vehicle platforms, which are collections of components and technologies that can be used across many models, and it will stop developing platforms for internal combustion engines.

The platform change is important because it enables Mercedes to take use of some of the design possibilities of electric cars, such as increased interior space. Electric motors are more compact than internal combustion engines, and they don’t need big gearboxes.

Mercedes also said that it will create a worldwide network of battery manufacturing facilities in collaboration with partners, as well as manufacture its own electric motors.

In a statement, Daimler CEO Ola Källenius stated, “The EV transition is gaining up pace – particularly in the premium category, where Mercedes-Benz belongs.” “By the end of this decade, markets will have switched to electric-only marketplaces, and we will be ready.”

However, the firm stopped short of guaranteeing that no more vehicles with internal combustion engines would be sold. By 2030, certain parts of the globe may lack the charging infrastructure needed to make owning an electric car a viable option.

Mercedes-Benz stated in a statement that it would be ready to go all-electric by the end of the decade, if market circumstances allow.

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The median U.S. home sales price rose to a record $363,300.

The median house selling price in the United States reached a new high of $363,300. Credit… Associated Press/Nam Y. Huh

After four months of losses, house sales in the United States increased in June as the economy reopened and supply restrictions eased.

Existing home sales in the United States dropped 0.9 percent in May compared to April, as a steep increase in prices and a scarcity of available homes slowed the market.

According to Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, “supply has slightly increased in recent months owing to additional building starts and current homeowners listing their houses, all of which has resulted in an improvement in sales.”

  • The National Association of Realtors said Thursday that existing home sales increased by 1.4 percent in June over May. In June, sales rose by almost 23% over the previous year.

  • The typical house selling price increased 23.4 percent year over year to a new high of $363,300.

  • The number of unsold houses in the market was 1.25 million, down 18.8% from a year earlier. In June, it took an average of 17 days to sell a house, compared to 24 days last June.

  • The Labor Department announced Thursday that initial applications for state unemployment benefits increased last week.

  • Before seasonal adjustments, the weekly number was about 406,000, up 14,000 from the previous week. New claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, a federally sponsored program for unemployed freelancers, gig workers, and others who don’t qualify for state benefits, reached 110,000, up roughly 14,000 from the previous week. The data is not adjusted for the season. (State claims increased by 51,000 to 419,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis.)

  • New state claims are still high by historical standards, but they’re less than a third of what they were in early January. As companies, especially in hard-hit sectors like leisure and hospitality, return to normal operations, benefit filings, which are a proxy for layoffs, have decreased.

  • Despite the fact that federal pandemic unemployment benefits remain funded through September, more than 20 states have lately eliminated part or all of them, including a $300 boost to other benefits. The payouts, according to officials in those states, are preventing individuals from looking for employment. However, courts in Maryland and Indiana have barred the early deadline, and legal challenges in three other states are ongoing.

  • Morning Consult conducted a poll of 5,000 people from June 22 to 25, finding that those whose unemployment benefits were set to expire felt greater pressure to find job. However, just a small percentage of individuals on unemployment insurance — 20% of those who worked full-time and 28% of those who worked part-time — felt the benefits were better than their prior job income for covering basic expenditures.

  • According to the Labor Department’s June employment statistics, the economy had 6.8 million fewer jobs than before the epidemic. Businesses that had shuttered or cut down during the epidemic rushed to recruit workers to match the resurgent demand, according to a second study, which identified 9.2 million job vacancies at the end of May.

  • However, there is a significant degree of turnover, with much more employees leaving than being laid off, indicating that many are looking for employment that pay even marginally more. Furthermore, since companies are rushing to fill lower-paying positions, many employees can afford to wait for a better offer.

The approval of Aduhelm last month generated intense scrutiny, in large part because there is scant evidence that the Alzheimer’s drug can help patients.

Aduhelm’s clearance last month drew a lot of attention, in part because there’s little proof that it can assist Alzheimer’s sufferers. Credit: Brian Snyder/Reuters

Biogen said on Thursday that its controversial Alzheimer’s medication Aduhelm made $2 million in its first few weeks of availability, marking the first income for a therapy that is projected to earn billions of dollars and put a burden on Medicare’s budget in the coming years.

The number of patients who have gotten the medication, which costs an average of $56,000 each year, was not disclosed by the firm. Michel Vounatsos, Biogen’s CEO, said on an earnings call that hoarded inventory accounted for a “significant portion” of income, and that the drug’s distribution had been slower than expected.

Analysts predicted that the medicine would have a slow start. Many insurers have yet to determine how they will handle it. The difficulties of delivering the medication, which must be given as a monthly intravenous infusion, have delayed administration sites — usually memory clinics that treat patients with cognitive impairments.

The government agency in charge of Medicare said earlier this month that it will begin a months-long study to see whether the medication should be covered uniformly throughout the nation, a move that may limit who gets it. Meanwhile, some Medicare Advantage plans, which are private insurance companies’ alternatives to conventional Medicare, have already authorized patients to get the medication, according to the firm.

On Thursday’s earnings conference, Biogen executives defended Aduhelm and the procedure that led to its approval.

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Christine Lagarde, president of the European Central Bank.

President of the European Central Bank, Christine Lagarde. Credit… Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach

On Thursday, the European Central Bank revised its message to financial markets, indicating it would accept certain inflation spikes for a short time before raising interest rates.

It was the central bank’s first policy statement since announcing the findings of its strategy review earlier this month, which revealed that policymakers would keep emergency measures in place even if inflation rose over 2% for a short time. The bank also said in the assessment that it will utilize its bond market clout to combat climate change.

This new approach was reflected in the central bank’s most recent forward guidance, which was released on Thursday. Interest rates will “remain at current or lower levels” until inflation reaches 2% “well ahead” of the end of the central bank’s projection horizon, which is around three years, and “durably” throughout the remainder of that time. Interest rates will be kept low until there is proof that inflation will stabilize at 2% “over the medium term,” according to policymakers.

“This may potentially mean a brief period of substantially above-target inflation,” according to the statement.

Because the central bank will not be compelled to respond to transitory spikes in inflation, this may lead to a prolonged period of low interest rates and asset purchases. In general, the area has had low inflation for a long time.

According to Claus Vistesen, an economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, the new guideline has increased the bar for higher interest rates in Europe.

The eurozone’s annual inflation rate was 1.9 percent in June, down from 2% in May, according to statistics released last week. Inflation is expected to increase again this year before dropping next year, according to the central bank. Inflation is expected to reach only 1.4 percent in 2023, the conclusion of the projection horizon.

On Thursday, the central bank’s head, Christine Lagarde, said, “The forecast for inflation over the medium term remains low.”

Previously, the central bank had set an inflation target of less than but close to 2%. It now has a “symmetric” 2-percentage-point goal for the “medium term.”

The shift in policy comes as the number of coronavirus infections in the area has risen, prompting governments in the region to reimpose certain restrictions in order to avoid jeopardizing the fragile economic recovery. Interest rates and the pace of the central bank’s bond-buying program remained unchanged on Thursday.

“The rebound in the euro area economy is on track,” Ms Lagarde added, as the vaccine campaign proceeds and tight lockdowns are relaxed. “However, the epidemic continues to throw a pall over the situation, particularly since the Delta variety is becoming a major source of uncertainty.”

The reopening of numerous companies, coupled with supply chain problems due to key item shortages such as semiconductors, has resulted in price hikes throughout Europe and the United States in recent months. Central banks are being pressed to explain when these increases will result in a monetary stimulus reduction. Policymakers have said that they would tolerate greater inflation as long as it is just transitory.

The European Central Bank reiterated its aim not to remove stimulus too soon in a statement released on Thursday.

According to the statement, the adjustment in the central bank’s forward guidance is meant to “underline its determination to maintain a consistently accommodating monetary policy stance in order to achieve its inflation goal.”

The monetary policy path in Europe is deviating even more sharply from the United States, where officials plan to increase interest rates in 2023, while investors expect interest rates to remain low and negative for many years.

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A solar panel energy farm in New Jersey. Private equity firms are racing to invest in renewable energy during the Biden administration.

In New Jersey, there is a solar panel energy farm. During the Biden administration, private equity companies are rushing to invest in renewable energy. Credit… The New York Times/Erin Schaff

K.K.R. is making a “substantial” minority investment in Sol Systems, a renewable energy business that assists in the financing of solar installations, according to the private equity firm. The investment company, which manages $367 billion in assets, has also committed to investing up to $1 billion in projects with Sol, according to the DealBook newsletter.

Yuri Horwitz, Sol’s CEO, said, “Almost all major corporate clients, including many conventional oil and gas firms, have aspirations to become 100 percent renewable by 2030 or 2040.” These pledges come as regulators and investors anticipate more scrutiny in the coming years.

Private equity firms are racing to invest in renewable energy during the Biden administration, driven in part by expectations of increased public investment as the White House aims to cut the country’s fossil-fuel emissions by 80 percent by 2030. The amount of solar capacity installed in the first quarter in the United States was nearly 50 percent larger than the year before, setting a first-quarter record, according to a report by the Solar Energy Industry Association and research firm Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables.

The Carlyle Group announced the formation of a renewable energy infrastructure business this week. Tim Short and Benoit Allehaut were hired by K.K.R. this spring to help manage renewable initiatives in its $18 billion infrastructure business. One of its most recent transactions was a $1.4 billion investment in NextEra, a wind and solar business.

KKR, on the other hand, continues to bet on fossil fuels. “Until we have technological solutions that enable otherwise,” Mr. Short said, “natural gas is still a very essential part of the energy transition.” Last month, the company announced a $5.7 billion agreement to form a holding company for shale oil businesses.

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A protest in January at Robinhood’s headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., after the app said it would limit trades of GameStop.

After the app announced it will restrict GameStop transactions, there was a protest in January at Robinhood’s offices in Menlo Park, Calif. Credit… The New York Times’ Ian C. Bates

Robinhood intends to sell as much as a third of its IPO, or $770 million in shares, to consumers directly via its app. This Saturday, anybody may watch an unique webcast of the company’s investor presentations.

According to Erin Griffith and Lauren Hirsch of The New York Times, the actions are extremely uncommon and upend the conventional I.P.O. procedure. No business has ever given so many shares to ordinary investors at the start; usually, companies reserve just 1 or 2% of their stock for consumers. And investor presentations with Wall Street companies are typically held behind closed doors.

In the offering prospectus, Robinhood’s founders Vlad Tenev and Baiju Bhatt stated, “We realize that for many of you, this will be the first I.P.O. you have had the opportunity to invest in.” Customers will be on a “equal footing” with big institutional investors, they said.

Robinhood is also allowing its workers to sell up to 15% of their shares immediately once the company goes public, rather than waiting the usual six months. This may make trading even more turbulent.

However, there are substantial hazards associated with establishing an I.P.O. Big professional funds prefer to retain stock purchased in an initial public offering (I.P.O. ), but there’s nothing stopping ordinary investors from selling Robinhood stock right away. Any technological issues, according to bankers, may result in regulatory scrutiny and investor lawsuits.

Vonage attempted to sell shares to its consumers in their first public offering (I.P.O.) in 2006. However, a technical problem left purchasers unsure if their transactions had gone through until the price had fallen days later. Customers sued Vonage, and the banks who handled the offering were punished by authorities.

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Major companies have stuck with their plans to sponsor the Tokyo Olympics, despite calls to cancel the event because of the pandemic.

Despite demands to postpone the Tokyo Olympics because to the epidemic, many corporations have maintained to their intentions to sponsor the games. Credit… The New York Times/Hiroko Masuike

Advertisers are concerned about the more than $1 billion they have spent on NBC and its Peacock streaming platform to promote the Olympics.

As more competitors test positive for the coronavirus, calls to suspend the games have become louder. The event is also controversial with Japanese people and many public health professionals, who are concerned about the possibility of a superspreader incident. There will be no audience in the stands.

The event is a critical source of income for NBCUniversal, which has spent billions of dollars for exclusive rights to broadcast the Olympics in the United States until 2032. According to Tiffany Hsu of The New York Times, there are more than 140 sponsors for NBC’s coverage of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro on television, on its year-old streaming platform Peacock, and online, up from 100 for the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Chipotle’s chief marketing officer, Chris Brandt, said the situation was “not ideal,” but the firm still intended to launch a campaign showcasing Olympic athlete biographies.

“We believe people will continue to tune in, even if there are no fans, as they have for other sports,” Mr. Brandt said. “It will detract from the enthusiasm, but we also hope that the Olympics serve as a unifier at a time when the nation seems to be so divided on a daily basis.”

Companies were checking in for updates on the coronavirus epidemic in Japan on a frequent basis, according to ad agency executives, and may fine-tune their marketing messaging as a result.

“Everyone is a little bit wary,” said David Droga, the founder of the Droga5 advertising firm, which worked on a Facebook Olympics campaign featuring skateboarders. “People are very vulnerable right now. Advertisers are attempting to strike the appropriate tone by not being overly sugary or clever.”

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On Thursday, Wall Street stocks fluctuated between gains and losses as investors digested the recent increase in new unemployment claims. According to the Labor Department, approximately 406,000 Americans applied for state unemployment benefits this week, up 14,000 from the previous week.

  • The S&P 500 was flat in early trading. The Nasdaq composite edged higher.

  • The yield on 10-year Treasury notes in the United States dropped to 1.27 percent from 1.30 percent.

  • The Stoxx 600 Europe gained 0.4 percent, indicating that European markets were higher. Interest rates will “stay at current or lower levels” until inflation reaches 2% “far ahead” of the end of the European Central Bank’s forecast horizon, according to the bank.

  • Oil prices climbed on Thursday, with the U.S. oil benchmark, West Texas Intermediate, up 0.7 percent to $70.79 per barrel.

The German automaker is currently in the midst of a restructuring plan that involves streamlining the company and bringing down costs by 2020. Under the new plan, the company has set a goal of having 10 percent of its sales coming from electric vehicles by 2025. This shift is happening because of the gas-powered cars’ high maintenance cost, as well as the push from the country’s (environmental) government to move towards sustainable solutions for its transportation systems.. Read more about mercedes-benz electric car 2021 and let us know what you think.

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