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Daimler Trucks & Buses targets completely CO2-neutral fleet of new vehicles by 2039 in Europe, Japan and NAFTA

Daimler Trucks & Buses, one of the world’s largest commercial vehicle manufacturers, aims to offer only new vehicles that are CO2-neutral in driving operation (“tank-to-wheel”) in the triad markets of Europe, Japan and NAFTA by 2039.


The Mercedes-Benz eActros heavy-duty electric truck, with a range of up to 200 km, is in intensive use by customers in Germany and Switzerland as part of the eActros “innovation fleet”.

By 2022, Daimler Trucks & Buses plans to include series-produced vehicles with battery-electric drive in its vehicle portfolio in its main sales regions Europe, USA and Japan. By the end of the next decade, Daimler Trucks & Buses will extend its range of vehicles with hydrogen-powered series production vehicles.

In Tokyo, Daimler Trucks & Buses recently celebrated the world premiere of the FUSO brand fuel-cell prototype “Vision F-Cell”, thus further strengthening its activity in the hydrogen field. (Earlier post.) In addition, all European Daimler Trucks & Buses plants will be CO2-neutral by the year 2022. All other plants will follow.

At Daimler Trucks & Buses we are clearly committed to the goals of the Paris Climate Protection Agreement and thus to the decarbonization of our industry. Having CO2-neutral transport on the road by 2050 is our ultimate goal. This can only be achieved if competitive conditions for CO2-neutral transport are created for our customers in terms of costs and infrastructure.

As it takes about ten years to completely renew a fleet until 2050, our ambition is to offer ‘tank-to-wheel’ locally CO2-neutral new vehicles in the triad by the year 2039. Truly CO2-neutral transport only works with battery-electric or hydrogen-based drive. We were the first manufacturer to seriously commit to electromobility in heavy trucks and, today, are pioneers and in all segments with electric vehicles in customer use. With our holistic approach to e-mobility in the bus sector, which consists of an electric city bus and consulting, we are already making a significant contribution to the locally emission-free public transport of the future and air pollution control in urban areas.

Locally CO2-neutral trucks and buses won’t sell themselves, because even in 2040—despite all efforts by manufacturers—the acquisition and total cost of ownership of trucks and buses with electric drives will be still higher than for diesel vehicles. We therefore need government incentives to make locally CO2-neutral trucks and buses competitive. Particularly necessary: converting and staggering tolls Europe-wide based on CO2 values whereby CO2-neutral vehicles would get significant relief, a targeted subsidy program for buses and for a nationwide charging and hydrogen infrastructure as well as uniform standards for the transport and refueling of hydrogen.

—Martin Daum, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Trucks & Buses

Daimler Trucks has been gaining experience with electric trucks since 2010 and since 2017 has had its first small series-produced all-electric truck on the market and in customers’ hands: the Fuso eCanter light-duty truck. More than 140 eCanter are already in customer service in cities worldwide, including New York City, Tokyo, Berlin, London, Amsterdam, Paris and Lisbon.

The Mercedes-Benz eActros heavy-duty truck, with a range of up to 200 km, is in intensive use by customers in Germany and Switzerland as part of the eActros “innovation fleet”. The first hand-off to a customer was in 2018. In the United States, the medium-duty Freightliner eM2 and the heavy-duty Freightliner eCascadia are also undergoing intensive field tests with customers.

The all-electric Mercedes-Benz eCitaro, which has already been series-produced at the Mannheim facility since 2018, is already operating in cities such as Berlin, Hamburg (both Germany), Oslo/Norway and Ystad/Sweden. eCitaro vehicles were also delivered to Luxembourg and Switzerland. The eCitaro is being continuously advanced for use in regular service.

As of 2021, the eCitaro will come to the market with the next-generation battery and in the second half of 2020 with solid-state batteries (lithium-polymer batteries). As of 2022 the battery bus will come with a range extender (hydrogen-based fuel cell provides the high-voltage battery with power).

Future battery technologies will lead to increasing service coverage in regular operation—with the fuel cell as a range extender nearly all routes can be served.

Daimler has been working on drive technologies based on hydrogen for more than 30 years. To date the company’s fuel cell vehicles have traveled many millions of kilometers, demonstrating the marketability of this drive concept. Still, there are very specific challenges in the commercial vehicle sector, such as service life and payload availability. Battery-electric and hydrogen-drive technologies offer different benefits depending on the purpose and therefore complement each other. The decisive criterion for truck and bus customers is the total cost of ownership, Daimler says.


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