Going forward Daimler AG, the world’s leading commercial truck manufacturer, will stop developing and producing gas powered trucks in favor of electric and hydrogen powered trucks. The German company hopes to make its entire fleet of trucks carbon neutral by 2039.
“Natural gas engines are fossil fuel-based and therefore a transition technology on the road to a CO2-neutral transport,” Daimler truck chief Martin Daum said 25 October at a conference in Berlin, according to Bloomberg. Daum argued that it defied logic to “spend a lot of money on something that does not have a long-term future, when we can use that money much better elsewhere.”
Daimler will begin production of battery-powered commercial vehicles in 2022. Production of hydrogen powered trucks will follow and likely be available by the end of the ‘20s.
Daum cited the Paris Climate Accord as he outlined the company’s ambitious new direction:
“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.
But Daum added that it would need to be a collective effort, given the costs of developing and manufacturing the new technologies.
“Particularly necessary,” he said, “[is] 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.”