Daimler's eCascadia and eM2 trucks feature fully electric drivetrains. Source: Daimler
Daimler’s eCascadia and eM2 trucks feature fully electric drivetrains. Source: Daimler

Carmaker Daimler says it plans to end the use of diesel engines in heavy duty vehicles over the next two decades, promising “CO2 neutrality” for new vehicles in the branch by 2039 in the European, Japanese and North American markets.

“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,” Daimler board member Martin Daum said in a press release.

Daum added that “CO2-neutral trucks and buses won’t sell themselves” even in 2040 since total costs for purchasing and running electrically-powered trucks and buses will still be higher than for diesel vehicles, arguing that government incentives are necessary to expand the market.

He said Europe-wide toll systems based on CO₂ emissions are “particularly necessary” to give carbon-neutral vehicles an edge.

Still grappling with the company’s profound entanglement in the dieselgate scandal, new Daimler CEO Ola Källenius earlier this year promised to make the entire Mercedes-Benz Cars fleet carbon neutral by 2039.

The company plans to make production in its European plants CO2-neutral by using renewable energy by 2022. By 2030, Daimler aims to have all-electric and plug-in hybrids make up more than half of its car sales.

According to a recent study by NGO InfluenceMap, Daimlerhas been among the world’s most influential lobbyists against climate policy, and for years has pursued a “strategy to control and delay the regulatory agenda on vehicle emissions and electric vehicles”.

Clean Energy Wire. Reproduced with permission

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