Daimler targets carbon-neutrality by 2039

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 14 May 2019

Daimler is pushing ahead its transformation to have emission-free mobility in the next 20 years. Sustainability being one of the key elements of Daimler’s corporate strategy, the future chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler, Ola Kallenius, who at present is still responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development as a member of the Board of Management at Daimler, has presented the targets for the car division under the 'Ambition2039' strategy.

Kallenius shared his vision and outlined some of the steps that the company will take to achieve the vision of being carbon neutral at a recent media event. The company has set a target for its car division under the heading 'Ambition2039', which aims to have a carbon-neutral new passenger car fleet in 20 years. 

"Let’s be clear what this means for us: a fundamental transformation of our company within less than three product cycles. That’s not much time when you consider that fossil fuels have dominated our business since the invention of the car by Carl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler some 130 years ago. Our way to sustainable mobility is innovation – in a holistic approach along the entire value chain," said Kallenius.

He said by 2030 the company will have electric models make up more than half of the Daimler's car sales – that includes all-electric cars and plug-in hybrids.

"Our R&D team is working together with established partners and startups alike to bring EV performance up and costs down. Our approach also includes the continuous development of our mobility services, to spread the use of electric models. In addition to cars, we’re also electrifying our vans, trucks and buses. And the modular development enables the rapid transfer of technology between our divisions. Our current focus is on battery-electric mobility. But there’s also room and need to continue to work on other solutions, for example, the fuel cell or eFuels," said Kallenius.

He said Daimler's GLC F-Cell technology is find application in city buses. "Today, no one knows for sure which drivetrain mix will best serve our customers’ needs 20 years from now. That’s why we encourage policy makers to pave the way for tech neutrality: Let’s fix the target, but not the means to achieve it," suggested Kallenius.

Having carbon-neutral production right from suppliers
Daimler says it is looking to have a carbon-neutral production, for which the company's Factory 56 is a blueprint. The new facility at Sindelfingen plant uses renewable energy and will be CO2-neutral right from the start. This the company says will be followed across all its European plants by 2022. "A holistic view on carbon cutting also includes the recycling of raw materials. Mercedes cars have a potential recycling ratio of 85 percent. So, we are moving from a value chain to a value cycle," said Kallenius.

He further shared that the company will also drive its supply chain partners to follow Daimler's ambition and get them to comply with the carmakers objective of carbon-neutrality. The Daimler boss revealed that the company at present is conducting workshops with its suppliers to identify effective CO2 reduction measures. And going forward it will establish CO2 targets as one key criteria in making supplier decisions and contracts across all major commodities.

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