Climate protection & air quality
Reducing the emissions of our vehicles
On the road to emission-free mobility – we at Daimler are working hard to make this vision a reality – for example, by continuing to expand our products and services in the area of e-mobility and reduce the CO2 emissions of our vehicles.
New standards for climate protection and air quality
The Paris Agreement on climate protection has the aim of limiting global warming to significantly less than two degrees Celsius compared with the preindustrial level. Achieving this goal will require the establishment of more stringent climate protection targets for all countries and all sectors, particularly with regard to CO2 emissions. The transportation sector as well must significantly reduce its CO2 footprint in the years ahead. For example, the climate protection plan of the German government requires the transportation sector to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 to 42 percent by 2030 compared to the levels of 1990. The legal requirements for Europe as a whole are similar. They call for a 37.5 percent decrease for cars and a 31 percent decrease for vans by 2030 compared to 2021; car and van emissions should have decreased by 15 percent by 2025. For heavy-duty commercial vehicles, a 30 percent reduction by 2030 will be needed. A new average target value of 95g CO2/km went into effect in 2020 for the entire fleet of new cars in the EU. Because the limit value is calculated on the basis of the average vehicle weight of a fleet, and because the cars from Mercedes-Benz AG are heavier than average, the limit value for them will probably be not 95 g/km but 107 g/km. We can only reach this target value if we put a large enough number of all-electric vehicles or plug-in hybrids on the road.
The average of the CO2 emissions of our newly registered vehicles has decreased substantially since 1990. This applies especially to passenger cars. At the same time, more vehicles are on the road today than ever before. For this reason, the absolute emission volumes of cars, and also of vans and heavy-duty trucks, have hardly decreased at all. If the sales figures for conventionally powered new vehicles and their driving performance remain at the current level in the future, it will probably be impossible to fulfill the legal requirements. This is why electric drive systems will play an increasingly important role in the future. With the electrification of drive systems, part of the CO2 emissions in the vehicles’ life cycle will be shifted from the use phase to the production phase. However, the emissions in the use phase are rapidly decreasing – or are even being reduced to zero. As a result, the CO2 emissions over the vehicles’ entire life cycle are decreasing.
In addition to climate protection, the improvement of inner-city air quality in the future is an important environmental consideration for us. That is because road traffic still accounts for a considerable share of nitrogen dioxide pollution (NO2) near roads. That is why we comply with the global emissions standards for pollutant emissions such as NOX. These emissions limit values have been made increasingly more restrictive over the past few years. In order to fulfill these and possible future requirements, we are continuing to develop our technologies.
How we are decreasing the emissions of our vehicles
In our sustainable business strategy we have set ourselves the overall goal of making the mobility of the future more sustainable. One component of our approach involves reducing the CO2 emissions of our vehicles along the entire value chain. In our “Ambition 2039” we have set ourselves the target of making our fleet of new passenger cars CO2-neutral over the vehicles’ entire life cycle by 2039. Daimler Trucks & Buses 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. Mercedes-Benz Vans is following the Mercedes-Benz Car strategy in its vans for private use and the strategy of Daimler Trucks & Buses for its commercial-vehicle vans.
Mercedes-Benz AG has had its climate protection measures scientifically confirmed by the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTI). By means of these targets, the company is supporting the Paris Agreement on climate protection.
In the environmental and energy guidelines we adopted in 2013, we resolved to develop products that are especially environmentally friendly and energy-efficient in their respective market segments.
Focusing on emissions from the very start
A vehicle’s environmental impact is largely determined during the first phases of its development – and that includes its emissions of CO2 and pollutants. For example, the earlier in the car development process we take environmental aspects into account, the more efficiently we can minimize the environmental impacts of our vehicles. We do this by means of our “Design for Environment” approach – in other words, through environmentally friendly product development. In order to continuously improve environmental compatibility, these requirements are incorporated into our product performance specifications for cars. These specifications define specific characteristics and target values – for example for fuel consumption, CO2 emissions or limit values for NOX – that must be achieved for every vehicle model and every engine variant.
In every area of combustion engine development, there are also internal development target values for vehicle emissions. These take into account all of the legal requirements, such as the new limit values for NOX and the CO2 reduction targets of the EU for the period starting in 2020. In addition, we strive to achieve the lowest possible emissions in long-term operation under real conditions.
During the development process, we regularly monitor compliance with our internal development targets and the requirements contained in the product performance specifications. On the Energy Efficiency Board (EEB), which includes Board of Management participation, the managers responsible for each vehicle model series evaluate the results of this monitoring process. If corrective actions are required, the managing body of the respective business division is included in the decision-making process.
The exact level of the CO2 emissions of individual vehicles is determined within the framework of the fuel-economy certification process. In Europe this is done under the supervision of an external expert. On the basis of the individual values, we calculate the CO2 emissions of the entire fleet and have this result checked by an external auditor. In the United States the certification is handled by the car manufacturer itself. The responsible authority, the Environmental Protection Agency, monitors compliance with the requirements by conducting measurements on vehicles in the field or vehicles that we make available. These vehicles, which are somewhat older, provide a realistic picture of the overall emission situation.
Towards emission-free mobility
Our “Road to Emission-free Driving” initiative defines the primary focal points for developing new and sustainable drive technologies at all of our automotive business divisions. It encompasses the following measures:
- The further development of our vehicles equipped with state-of-the-art combustion engines in order to achieve significant reductions in consumption and emissions,
- Further increases in efficiency through hybridization, and
- Electric vehicles with battery and fuel cell drive systems.
We are also actively involved in the research and testing of alternative fuels. Our fuel roadmap for Mercedes-Benz Cars & Vans points the way toward the optimization of today’s fossil fuels and the use of synthetic fuels, as well as hydrogen and electricity generated from renewable sources.
We are closely watching the market, and we generally welcome the development work that is being done in the area of fuel production from green energy and various sources of CO2. After all, according to the initial scientific investigations, e-fuels offer the potential for reducing greenhouse gases from a well-to-wheel perspective.
Responsibility for more environmentally friendly vehicles
Our Group management is responsible for setting our strategic goals. In addition, two members of the Board of Management participate in meetings of our Energy Efficiency Board (EEB) (formerly known as the CO2 Steering Committee). The EEB meets approximately five times a year. Its responsibilities include observing the development of CO2 fleet values in the markets that are regulated in this regard and providing forecasts. In their evaluations, the managers take into account the increasing degree of vehicle electrification and the changes that have been made to legal requirements, for example those related to the introduction of the new WLTP test procedure. At its meetings, the EEB discusses measures that are necessary, and the Board of Management subsequently makes the relevant decisions.
Responsibility for ensuring compliance with climate protection and air quality requirements is split between several units and Board of Management members. At the vehicle level, the development departments in the vehicle business divisions are responsible for ensuring such compliance. For cars and vans, these are the “Drive Systems Product Group” development unit and the product groups of cars, trucks, and buses in the “Global Powertrain & Manufacturing Engineering Trucks” unit. The various directorates of the drivetrain development units play a special role here. The Heads of Production are responsible at the level of the production plants, and the Heads of Sales at the Daimler showrooms.
Climate protection: Our CO2 emissions – in all of our fleets
CO2 emissions of our cars
For the year under review, it is expected that the average CO2 emissions of our total passenger car fleet in Europe (EU28 + Iceland, Norway) will have increased to 137 g/km (NEDC, including vans registered as passenger cars (M1), Mercedes-Benz Cars: 135 g/km). This means that we were unable to reduce our CO2 emissions from the prior-year level. There were several reasons for this development. The first involves the shift of sales from vehicles with diesel engines to cars powered by gasoline engines. Secondly, 2019 was the first year in which the rollout of the WLTP certification process had its full impact. We intend to achieve our objective of reducing our CO2 emissions for 2020 and thus continue to conform to the currently valid EU limit values by means of a planned expansion of our portfolio to include further electric vehicle models and accommodate customer demand.
In the United States, fleet values are regulated by two co-regulating standards for limiting greenhouse gases and fuel consumption in vehicle fleets: the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG) and the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards. Our target was to reduce the CO2 emissions of our passenger cars and light-duty trucks on the US market by approximately 25 percent up to and including the model year 2019 as compared to 2012, which is the base year for the currently valid GHG regulations. The GHG fleet figures for the CO2 emissions of Daimler vehicles in the United States have improved by 10 percent for passenger cars and by 16 percent for light-duty commercial vehicles over the last seven years (on the basis of the preliminary report on the 2019 model year). As a result, we have only partially achieved our goal. However, we were able to close the remaining gap by taking advantage of the flexibility measures in the regulation (including the purchase of external credits).
In China, domestic and imported cars are reported separately, but the two fleets can be set off against one another. The respective target is calculated according to the vehicle weights. The fuel efficiency target for the Daimler domestic fleet (BBAC) in 2019 was 6.3 l/100 km, and the actual value achieved was 6.7 l/100 km. The target for imported vehicles (MBCL) was 6.8 l/100 km, and 8.1 l/100 km was achieved (all of these figures were calculated on the basis of the provisional report for 2019). With regard to the fleet as a whole, this corresponds to a 25 percent reduction of the average fleet consumption compared to the figure for 2012. External credits were purchased at short notice in order to close consumption gaps in the fleet’s achievement of the target. We aim to reach our goal in China in the medium term on our own by ramping up our production of all-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids.
Legal limits on the fuel consumption and/or CO2 emissions of car fleets exist today in many other markets as well, although the target values differ from market to market. The relevant countries here include major sales markets for our products – for example Canada, Japan, South Korea, Brazil, Taiwan, India, and Saudi Arabia. We make every effort to comply with the legal limits in all of these markets.
CO2 emissions of our vans
According to EU directive 510/2011, since 2017 the average emissions of vans with a curb weight of up to 3.5 tons may not exceed 175 g CO2/km. As of 2020, the CO2 level will drop to 147 g CO2/km. Taking into account vehicle weight, Mercedes-Benz vans had to comply with a maximum CO2 fleet level of 213 g CO2/km in 2019. However, our van fleet has already been below that level since 2014. The projected fleet level for Mercedes-Benz vans for 2019 is expected to be 189 g CO2/km. We expect to achieve a further reduction to 187 g CO2/km in 2020, thus reaching the weight-specific CO2 target. Although the fuel consumption figures for several models are increasing slightly as a result of the introduction of the new WLTP testing procedure, this increase is expected to be offset by the introduction of new fuel-efficient engines, as well as our electric eVito and eSprinter models.
CO2 emissions of our heavy-duty trucks in North America
In 2019 Daimler Trucks North America achieved a 33.5 percent reduction of fuel consumption compared to the base value of 2005 for the market in long-distance tractor-trailers. This achievement was demonstrated on the highways by our reference vehicle, the latest Cascadia model with all of the optional aerodynamics packages.
In 2018 we were able to achieve 80 percent of our goal of reducing the fuel consumption of our entire fleet in the EU by an average of 20 percent between 2005 and 2020. These reduction values were calculated on standard real-world proving grounds. In 2019 the legislators introduced VECTO, a new measurement and simulation process for determining the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of heavy-duty commercial vehicles in Europe. We revised the way we represent the fuel consumption of our truck fleet in this system, and in the past year we were able to once again reduce fuel consumption.
Fuel consumption of our buses in Europe
We have achieved 90 percent of our target of a 20 percent reduction in the fuel consumption of our coaches and city buses over 18 tons GVW for the period 2005–2020 for coaches and 100 percent of the same target for city buses. The introduction of the Citaro Compact Hybrid played a major role in the latter achievement.
Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions
Most of our CO2 emissions are generated during the use phase of the vehicles. However, other phases of the vehicle life cycle also generate CO2 emissions. In order to calculate the entire CO2 balance, we rely on the basic principles of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, and we publicly disclose information about our emissions according to this standard.
In line with the standard, we differentiate between three categories of CO2 emissions called scopes. Scope 1 comprises emissions such as ones caused on our factory grounds by the combustion of energy carriers, for example through the generation of electricity by our own power plants. Scope 2 includes all emissions that are generated outside our factory grounds due to the generation of energy purchased from external sources, such as electricity from a local utility. Finally, Scope 3 includes all the emissions that are generated before (upstream of) or after (downstream of) our production operations. For example, Scope 3 includes the CO2 emissions that arise in the supply chain (purchased goods and services), as a result of our vehicles’ operation in customers’ hands (the use phase, including the production of fuel and electricity) or in the recycling phase of the vehicles.
If we look at the entire life cycle of the average Mercedes-Benz Cars fleet (worldwide), we arrive at an average CO2 value of 48.9 t per vehicle for the year 2019.
Climate protection: Targets and measures for more climate-friendly vehicles
In order to decrease our emissions further, we are switching our entire product portfolio to the latest engine generations and expanding our range of plug-in hybrids and all-electric vehicles. We are developing electric model variants for all of our vehicle models – from cars and vans to trucks and buses. We are making it possible for our customers to take advantage of user-friendly electric mobility services, and we are also participating in the expansion of the battery-charging infrastructure.
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hybrid drive systems
hybrid drive systems
Decreasing residual brake torque and reducing fuel consumption
Technical alterations to a car’s braking system can decrease residual brake torque and thus reduce its fuel consumption. The residual brake torque is the continuous slight abrasion between the brake linings and the brake disc. Extensive in-house investigations have shown that it is possible to reduce this abrasion. This effect was analyzed in detail and countermeasures were developed. In 2019 we implemented technical solutions in series-produced cars, thus making a major step forward. According to a sample calculation, improvements of 5 g CO2/km in one million produced vehicles can reduce emissions under real-life driving conditions at an average mileage of 100,000 kilometers by a total of 500,000 tons. At the same time, these technical adaptations make it possible to slightly reduce the wear on the brake linings and the brake discs.
Lower CO2 emissions thanks to efficient transmissions
During the reporting period, we developed an especially efficient eight-gear dual-clutch transmission for the new family of Mercedes-Benz compact cars. Thanks solely to numerous measures for reducing the mechanical and electrical losses in the transmissions, the emissions could be reduced by 5.2 g CO2/km compared to the transmissions of previous models (in comparable vehicles). Besides, the use of lightweight plastics in particular reduced the vehicles’ weight by about 3 kg, in spite of an additional gear and higher maximum torque. And because of the modular construction, it is also possible to supplement the transmission with a hybrid drive unit. As a result, it is possible to have a plug-in hybrid drivetrain with even lower fuel consumption (A 250 e compact sedan: fuel consumption combined: 1.5-1.4 l/100 km; power consumption combined: 15.0-14.8 kWh/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 34-33 g/km)1.
Ambition, targets, and measures at Mercedes-Benz Cars & Vans
As part of our sustainable business strategy, we have set ourselves the following goals for Mercedes-Benz Cars & Vans:
- CO2 neutrality for our new car fleet by 2039: This applies to all the stages of the value chain – from the supply chain to production, the vehicle use phase, and vehicle disposal and recycling.
- Our goal is to have plug-in hybrids or all-electric vehicles account for more than 50 percent of our car sales by 2030. We want to electrify the entire portfolio of Mercedes-Benz Cars by 2022. This means that we plan to offer various electric alternatives to our customers in every segment, ranging from smarts to large SUVs. By 2025, we expect all-electric models to account for up to 25 percent of all the cars we sell.
- At Mercedes-Benz Vans we have set ourselves the goal of making our vans for private use CO2-neutral for their entire life cycle by 2039. For commercially used vans, the goal is to offer only new vehicles that are CO2-neutral in driving operation (“tank-to-wheel”) in the triad markets of Europe, Japan, and NAFTA.
- At Mercedes-Benz Cars & Vans we are striving to reduce the absolute Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 50 percent by 2030 compared to the reference year 2018. In addition, we plan to reduce the Scope 3 emissions from the use phase of our Mercedes-Benz cars and vans by 42 percent per vehicle-kilometer by 2030 compared with 2018. These targets were confirmed by the Science Based Targets Initiative.
Mercedes-Benz Cars is planning to launch more than ten all-electric cars on the market by 2025 – in all segments, from the smart to the SUVs. We are investing about €10 billion in expanding our fleet of electric vehicles and more than €1 billion in expanding battery production, and we are buying battery cells for more than €20 billion in order to systematically promote our Group’s entry into an electrically driven future. In our car portfolio we already have 15 models that are either all-electric or electrified with at least a plug-in hybrid drive system.
EQ – our brand for electric mobility
Under our new EQ brand, which stands for “Electric Intelligence,” we offer vehicles and services connected with electric mobility. Together with partners, we are investing in the establishment of a charging infrastructure on major highways in Europe. We have designed our production network in a manner that allows us to manufacture our electric vehicles on the same production lines as the corresponding models with combustion engines at all of our key manufacturing locations. This ensures that we can react with sufficient flexibility to the demand for electric vehicles. Parallel to vehicle production, we are also expanding the production of batteries.
EQC – the first model of the EQ series
The all-electric Mercedes-Benz EQC (EQC 400 4MATIC: Electric power consumption (combined, acc. to NEDC): 21.3-20.2 kWh/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 0 g/km)1 was presented in Stockholm in 2018 and delivered to customers for the first time in 2019. Thanks to its intelligent operation strategy, it has an electric range (acc. to NEDC) from 429-454 kilometers. One reason for this is that unlike many other electric vehicles, the EQC charges its batteries during driving as well. In order to take full advantage of its emission-free electric drive system, the EQC has a completely new drive system with intelligent control. In addition, connected services and functions make this vehicle easier to drive. For example, drivers can plan their future trips in advance – from the office or the living room – and receive an intelligently planned route, including charging stops and the time of arrival.
VISION EQS – e-mobility in the luxury segment
Mercedes-Benz presented the VISION EQS show car at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt (IAA – September 12 to 22, 2019). Sustainability is becoming a key component of Mercedes-Benz’s brand philosophy and a crucial aspect of its sustainable business strategy. The VISION EQS already fulfills these criteria today and offers a preview of the large electric luxury sedans of the future. Thanks to an intelligent operation strategy, the EQS has a comfortable range of up to 700 kilometers (WLTP). With an assumed charging capacity of 350 kW, the battery can be recharged to 80 percent capacity in significantly less than 20 minutes.
EQV – our all-electric van
At the IAA 2019 we also presented the EQV (electric power consumption combined: 26.4-26.3 kWh/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 0 g/km)1, one of the world’s first full-size MPVs with a purely battery-electric drive system. The EQV is especially suited for private customers who want to drive long distances in their own vehicles, for example on vacations. The lithium-ion battery with a usable capacity of 90 kWh gives the EQV a range of 417 kilometers1.
GLC F-CELL – an intelligent combination of a battery and a fuel cell
The GLC F-CELL is another all-electric vehicle (hydrogen consumption combined: 0.91 kg/100 km; power consumption combined: 18 kWh/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 0 g/km)1. We have been delivering this SUV to customers since the end of 2018. It can also be “filled up” with electricity as well as hydrogen, because it is equipped with a lithium-ion battery in addition to its fuel cell. The intelligent interplay between the battery and the fuel cell makes the GLC F-CELL a dynamic and practical vehicle for long-distance travel. With 4.4 kilograms of hydrogen on board, the SUV produces enough energy to achieve a range of up to 400 kilometers1 in hybrid mode (NEDC). The large lithium-ion battery alone provides a range of up to 50 kilometers (NEDC).
smart EQ models – all-electric in the near future
Beginning in 2020, all smart models will be offered exclusively as EQ models with an all-electric drive system. With the new smart EQ control app, the smart makes access to electric mobility easier. The smart EQ fortwo (power consumption combined: 15.7-13.9 kWh/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 0 g/km)1 and the smart EQ forfour (power consumption combined: 16.4-14.5 kWh/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 0 g/km)1 feature an optimized charging technology as well as a new app for electric mobility. The app contains much information about the car, such as the current state of charge, and enables the driver to control vehicle functions such as auxiliary climate control and charge management. All of these functions are presented in a customized manner. Another new feature is the 22 kW onboard charger with a fast-charge function.
EQ Power – available for the A- and B-Class for the first time
Plug-in hybrids are an important milestone on the road to emission-free driving. Under the label EQ Power, Mercedes-Benz Cars is systematically forging ahead with the development of its plug-in hybrid vehicles. Three compact-family models equipped with the third-generation hybrid drive system have now been unveiled: the A 250 e (fuel consumption combined: 1.5-1.4 l/100 km; electric power consumption combined: 15.0-14.8 kWh/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 34-33 g/km f)1, the A 250 e sedan (fuel consumption combined: 1.4 l/100 km; electric power consumption combined: 14.8–14.7 kWh/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 33-32 g/km)1, and the B 250 e (fuel consumption combined: 1.6-1.4 l/100 km; electric power consumption combined: 15.4-14.7 kWh/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 36-32 g/km)1.
Vans for commercial use
In the years ahead, we aim for our commercial vans, such as urban delivery vans, to also be electrified. Mercedes-Benz Vans is planning to offer all of its commercial van model series with electric drive systems. Today our electric vans are already being used by a wide range of customers, such as the Hermes parcel delivery service. In addition to the vehicles themselves, Mercedes-Benz Vans also offers a holistic electric mobility ecosystem for commercial users.
eVito – all-electric panel van and tourer model
For about a year now, the all-electric eVito has been on the market in two versions – as a panel van for goods transport (power consumption combined: 24.9-20.5 kWh/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 0 g/km)1 and as a tourer model with up to nine seats for transporting passengers (power consumption combined: 26.2 kWh/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 0 g/km)1. The panel van offers a range of 150-184 km (NEDC) and an onboard charger with a capacity of 7.4 kWh; the tourer has a range of 421 kilometers. The range can be expanded by charging the battery with braking energy (recuperation). The degree of recuperation can be set at four different levels. In addition, the driver can choose between three different drive programs that enable either a very efficient and economical driving style or the greatest possible degree of comfort.
Project “Polarfuchs” (“Arctic Fox”)
In cooperation with customers from the online food trade and the refrigeration unit specialist Kerstner we have developed a vehicle concept (eVito)1 for the emission-free delivery of actively refrigerated food in urban areas. The technical concept of the “Arctic Fox” is an excellent example of customer co-creation. It is based on the idea of using the electrical energy available in the eVito for active cooling purposes. This is done by connecting the especially energy-efficient C106EA refrigeration system from Kerstner to the VAN on-board electrical system, which makes it possible to minimize the support battery that is needed as a buffer. As a result, food can be delivered in locally emission-free vehicles and there is no need for additional one-way cooling pads or dry ice. The Arctic Fox demonstrated its suitability for daily use in a four-week pilot project in Belgium in September 2019. While making as many as 50 deliveries per tour, the Arctic Fox could reliably maintain the cool temperatures in its cargo area (for fresh-food service), thus successfully fulfilling the requirements for its urban application.
eSprinter – a panel van with two battery options
The eSprinter, a 3.5-ton panel van with a cargo volume of up to 11 m3, was introduced on the German market at the end of 2019. It is available in two battery configurations. As a result, our customers can choose between a wider range (a range of 168 km with a payload of 891 kg) and a heavier payload (a range of 120 km with a payload of 1,045 kg). (The ranges were calculated on the basis of Commission Regulation 692/2008/EC.) Like the eVito1, the eSprinter offers various levels of recuperation and a selection of drive programs. The direct-current fast-charge function of the eSprinter can charge the battery, which has a capacity of up to 80 kW, from 10 to 80 percent within 30 minutes.
The eDrive@VANs ecosystem
We support our commercial customers with comprehensive and transparent advice in the area of electric mobility. One example of that is the eVan Ready app, which enables interested parties to check whether they could also use one of our electric vans to drive their normal routes. They can also use the eCost Calculator to find out whether an electric Mercedes-Benz van would be a good option for them from a financial standpoint. Together with our customers, we analyze the charging infrastructure at their respective locations. We also show them what measures are necessary for the efficient operation of individual vehicles as well as large or small fleets.
Ambition, targets, and measures at Daimler Trucks & Buses
At Daimler Trucks & Buses, we decided on the following aims in 2019:
- We aim to offer only new vehicles that are CO2-neutral in driving operation (“tank-to-wheel”) in the triad of Europe, Japan, and NAFTA by 2039.
- We plan to have a vehicle portfolio comprising series-produced vehicles with battery-electric drive systems in the main sales regions Europe, the United States, and Japan by 2022.
- In the second half of the decade, we plan to augment our vehicle portfolio with hydrogen-driven production vehicles.
- Our ultimate goal is to achieve CO2-neutral transport on the road by 2050.
Daimler Trucks & Buses, which is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of commercial vehicles, is pursuing a sustainable corporate strategy. We are firmly committed to the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate protection, and thus to the decarbonization of our sector.
Daimler Trucks committed itself early on to systematically develop electric mobility in connection with heavy-duty trucks. According to the latest research, genuinely local CO2-neutral transportation can work only with electric drive systems powered by batteries or by the transformation of hydrogen on board the commercial vehicle.
The FUSO eCanter light truck, which is our first all-electric truck to be produced in a small batch, has been on the market and in customers’ hands since 2017. More than 140 eCanter trucks are already being used by customers in cities all over the world including New York, Tokyo, Berlin, London, Amsterdam, Paris, and Lisbon.
Mercedes-Benz eActros heavy-duty electric trucks, which have a range of up to 200 km, are undergoing intense daily use by customers in Germany and Switzerland as part of the eActros “innovation fleet.” The first eActros was handed over to a customer in 2018.
The medium-duty Freightliner eM2 and the heavy-duty Freightliner eCascadia are also currently undergoing intense practical testing by customers in the United States.
Along with battery-electric drives, we are also focusing on fuel cells, as the two drive technologies ideally complement each other. In spite of all the efforts being made by the manufacturers, the purchase prices and total cost of ownership of trucks with electric drives are expected to be higher than those of diesel-powered vehicles even in 2040. As a result, government intervention will be necessary to make locally CO2-neutral trucks competitive – in other words, to compensate for their cost-related disadvantages. Only then is it likely that customers will invest in CO2-neutral trucks. A Europe-wide restructuring of the highway toll system with a sliding scale for different CO2 values that would charge CO2-neutral vehicles significantly lower tolls is necessary. Also needed is a targeted support program and a comprehensive charging and hydrogen infrastructure, as well as uniform standards for hydrogen transportation and hydrogen refueling.
The E-Mobility Group has been combining the worldwide know-how of Daimler Trucks & Buses in the area of e-mobility and defining a cross-brand and cross-segment strategy for electric components and products since 2018. Analogously to the global platform strategy for conventional vehicles, the E-Mobility Group is developing a uniform worldwide electrical architecture. This maximizes the use of synergies and optimizes the application of investments. At the same time, the E-Mobility Group is offering customers a comprehensive range of advice with a focus on the overall ecosystem. The goal is to make electric mobility economical in terms of the total cost of ownership, or TCO.
Daimler Buses is also focusing on the development of electric drive systems. Buses already have a favorable CO2 balance that can be further improved through battery operation and the use of other alternative drive system technologies. The Daimler Buses Competence Center for Electric Mobility is to be housed at the Mannheim location. Daimler Buses is taking a comprehensive approach to electric mobility. In addition to its products, Daimler Buses also offers its customers holistic advice – e-mobility consulting – on topics ranging from the conversion of public transport bus fleets to electric vehicles all the way to follow-up services for bus operating companies.
eCitaro – emission-free public transportation in cities
The all-electric Mercedes-Benz eCitaro offers cities and transport companies the possibility of converting their fleets to locally emission-free operation. The eCitaro is series-produced at the Mannheim location. This battery-driven city bus is already in regular service in Berlin, Hamburg, Oslo (Norway), Ystad (Sweden), and many other cities. In addition, hundreds of orders for this model have been placed by buyers from all over Europe.
Depending on its intended use, the eCitaro can be ordered with as many as 12 battery packs. The bus has a range of around 170 kilometers in typical city driving conditions – without needing to be recharged in the middle of a route. Range figures for all-electric city buses are often difficult to compare because reference values are missing and the figures are often calculated under ideal conditions. In order to achieve reliable data for the eCitaro, we use the particularly challenging road test cycle known as SORT2, which also takes into account the energy requirements of auxiliary consumers such as the ventilation and heating systems.
We are also firmly committed to the technological refinement of the eCitaro in order to improve its practical utility in regular-service public transportation. Starting in 2020, customers will also be able to buy the eCitaro in another model variant as an articulated bus (eCitaro G) with seating for 145 passengers. The eCitaro will be launched with next-generation batteries in 2021. Before that, however, it will be available with solid-state batteries (lithium polymer batteries) in the second half of 2020. Starting in 2022 there will also be a battery-powered model with a range extender – a hydrogen-based fuel cell that provides the high-voltage battery with power and increases the range of the bus. Through these measures we will be able to cover almost all of the application areas and regular-service routes in urban traffic.
A central charging station for the eCitaro
Daimler Buses has established a central charging station for the all-electric eCitaro in the bus production plant in Mannheim. Its purpose is to charge the eCitaro during the production process and before it is delivered to customers. It also gives us an opportunity to test new charging technologies.
An environmentally friendly CO2 heat pump for electric buses
In 2019 we launched the world’s first CO2 heat pump for production vehicles on the market. Instead of using a synthetic refrigerant with a high proportion of greenhouse gases to heat a vehicle’s interior, the heat pump uses the natural and environmentally friendly refrigerant R744 (CO2). This CO2-based system can also take over the cooling function for the driver, the occupant area, and the high-voltage battery. The technology also functions at temperatures down to - 20°C, and it reduces the energy consumption of the bus by 40 percent by comparison with conventional buses.
Sustainability awards for our buses
Mercedes-Benz and Setra, the bus brand of Daimler AG, received several awards in 2019. The independent jury of the “International Bus Planner Sustainability Award” honored the fact that the low, and therefore resource-conserving, fuel consumption of these two brands benefits bus companies as well as the environment and society in general. Two Mercedes-Benz city buses – the eCitaro and the Citaro hybrid – as well as the double-decker coach Setra TopClass S 531 DT won awards in their respective categories. At the international trade fair “Busworld Europe” the eCitaro also received the “Sustainable Bus Award 2020” in the Urban category as well as the “Comfort Label 2019”. The jury determined that the Mercedes-Benz eCitaro currently offers the best combination of sustainability, comfort, and safety. The Busworld Awards jury also honored the Setra TopClass S 531 DT with the “Comfort Label”. In December 2019 the all-electric Mercedes-Benz eCitaro received the “Blue Angel” quality seal. The “Blue Angel”, which has been the German government’s seal of environmental quality for over 40 years, is awarded by independent institutions. This coveted seal testifies to the eCitaro’s environmental friendliness and its exemplary path toward locally emission-free local public transportation systems. The eCitaro is the first all-electric city bus to bear this quality seal.
Our eMobility consulting team helps local public transportation operators make the transition to electric bus fleets. It provides advice regarding the length of bus routes, passenger numbers, energy requirements, the calculation of bus ranges, and charging management, among other aspects. In addition, our OMNIplus brand offers a tailored electric mobility service package that includes on-site services at customers’ maintenance and repair shops.
Partnership with Proterra
In 2018 we entered into a strategic partnership with Proterra, the leading manufacturer of electric buses on the North American market for use in local transport systems. In our first joint project, we are working on the electrification of school buses made by Daimler’s Thomas Built Buses brand. These buses are especially suited for electrification, because they travel along planned routes and cover a predictable number of kilometers on a daily basis. The cooperation on an electric school bus gives both companies the opportunity to offer new economical transport options with environmentally friendly and emission-free electric drive technology in this growing segment.
Expansion of the electric charging infrastructure
Studies estimate that about 70 to 80 percent of the charging processes in the regions Europe and NAFTA take place at home or at the workplace and only a good 20 to 30 percent take place in semi-public or public spaces. We provide suitable solutions for all three areas.
The new Mercedes-Benz Wallbox Home enables users to quickly and safely charge their vehicles at home with a charging capacity of up to 22 kW. An installation service is offered by a market-specific partner. This charging partner offers professional advice on all aspects of charging for electric vehicles and simply and rapidly installs the Wallbox on site.
With the charge@Daimler project, the company is consolidating its activities related to the establishment of an intelligent charging infrastructure at all Daimler locations in Germany. Employees at Daimler locations in 24 German cities can already take advantage of comprehensive charging solutions. More than 2,700 charging points have been set up since 2013. The project includes equipping employee parking lots, parking garages, and customer centers, as well as electrifying the in-house development test rigs and testing facilities.
Through our joint venture IONITY, we are working together with several other automakers to establish a powerful fast-charging network for electric vehicles in Europe. IONITY is pursuing the goal of also being able to guarantee a consistent charging network for long-distance travel on the most important pan-European highways in order to accelerate the establishment of electric mobility on the market. The network’s short charging times make for a pleasant journey, especially over long distances. IONITY plans to install and put into operation around 400 fast-charging stations by the end of 2020.
Over 200 IONITY fast-charging stations were in operation at the beginning of 2020, and many more are under construction. Each IONITY fast-charging station has several charging points per charging park. By the end of 2020, thousands of charging points will enable customers to charge vehicles of different brands and with different electrical outputs. All of the charging points will be driven by 100 percent renewable energy. The charging network uses the European Combined Charging System standard (CCS), whose charging capacity of up to 350 kW per charging point enables correspondingly designed vehicles to charge their batteries much faster than was previously possible.
Together with a partner, Mercedes-Benz also offers companies and fleet operators intelligent charging solutions that enable fleet managers to monitor and invoice costs for all vehicle charging processes. These solutions even integrate the offsetting of costs accruing to the driver of a company car for charging at the employee’s home.
Mercedes me Charge
Charging an electric vehicle is a comfortable and uncomplicated process, not only at home with a Mercedes-Benz Wallbox, for example, but also on the road. Mercedes me Charge offers Mercedes-Benz customers access to one of the world’s largest charging networks, with more than 300 different operators of public charging stations in Europe alone (for example in cities, in parking lots, on highways, and in shopping centers). In order to use this network, customers do not have to sign a variety of contracts. Once they have made a one-time decision about their payment method, they benefit from a simple authentication process and an integrated payment function with simple billing features. Thanks to the navigation system, Mercedes-Benz customers can easily find these public charging stations, and they can easily access them either via the Mercedes me Charge charging card, the Mercedes me app or directly from their cars. The infotainment system MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) also supports the search for charging stations. The natural speech recognition of the MBUX system enables users to start the search by saying, “Hey Mercedes, find nearby charging stations.”
Driving electricity can be a significant generator of CO2 in the life cycle of an electric vehicle – depending on how it is generated. Today the sources of electricity differ widely from one region to another. We want to inspire our customers to charge their “green” vehicles with “green” electricity. For example, with Mercedes me Charge we enable drivers to charge their vehicles comfortably at many different public charging stations in Europe, which offer energy from renewable sources whenever possible. However, the transition to the sustainable mobility of the future will be successful only if the automotive industry, energy suppliers, and governments work hand in hand. This means that players outside the automotive sector as well will have to make massive investments and implement concrete measures. Climate-neutral energy and a comprehensive infrastructure are indispensable for this systemic change.
Expansion of the hydrogen refueling infrastructure
The network of hydrogen refueling stations is also growing. In the joint venture H2 MOBILITY Deutschland, we are working together with Air Liquide, Linde, OMV, Shell, and Total to expand the hydrogen infrastructure throughout Germany. At the end of 2019 there were 79 publicly accessible hydrogen refueling stations with a capacity of 700 bar in Germany, 11 stations were under construction, and 15 more were in the planning or approval phase. In 2019, H2 Mobility thus added about 25 new stations to the network. The German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure and H2 MOBILITY have signed a memorandum of understanding that follows up the first phase of expansion. In the course of 2020 the network will grow to a total of approximately 100 hydrogen refueling stations. The partners’ long-term goal is to establish a network consisting of as many as 400 hydrogen refueling stations. Similar infrastructure projects are being implemented in the rest of Europe, the United States, and Japan.
Air quality: Targets and measures
In addition to climate protection, we consider inner-city air quality an important environmental aspect. That’s because road traffic still accounts for a considerable share of nitrogen dioxide pollution (NO2) near roads.
Diesel vehicles: new engines, subsidies for retrofits
Plans call for our new vehicle fleet to no longer have any relevant impact on NO2 emissions in urban areas by 2025. Another one of our aims is to increase transparency with regard to vehicle-related particulate emissions and to forge ahead with the development of new measures for reducing such emissions.
New diesel engines
Our new OM 654, OM 656, and OM 608 diesel engines are bringing us ever closer to our targets for lowering NOX emissions under real driving conditions (real driving emissions – RDE). A reduction of NOX emissions is made possible by an innovative overall package consisting of the engine and the exhaust treatment system. This package is being continuously enhanced and has been comprehensively launched on the market in the new engine generation encompassing the OM 654, OM 656, and OM 608. The very good values achieved by these engines have been repeatedly confirmed in road tests by organizations such as DEKRA and TÜV as well as by various trade magazines. According to the 13/19 issue of the automotive magazine auto motor und sport, emission measurements on twelve test vehicles from different brands showed that the tested Mercedes C 300 d wagon (combined fuel consumption: 5.3-4.8 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions 139-127 g/km)1 emitted “almost no NOX.”
The ADAC reported about its own extensive measurements in February 2019 as follows: “The NOX emissions of current cars in real-world driving on the road are far below the test bench limits.” The Mercedes-Benz C 220 d (combined fuel consumption 4.7-4.4 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions 126-117 g/km)1 performed particularly well: “Its NOX figure was hardly measurable, between 0 and 1 mg/km.”
Planned measures for diesel engines
Overall, Daimler is developing software updates for a majority of its fleet of Euro 6b and Euro 5 diesel cars in Europe. These updates improve the nitrogen oxide emissions of the vehicles in normal operating status by 25 to 30 percent on average. This will be verified with the WLTC 1, 2, 3 measurement cycle.
As early as 2017 Daimler announced that it would offer voluntary service measures that would include software updates for several million diesel vehicles in Europe. The company has since then extended this update campaign, among other things to include van models. Daimler has in addition been carrying out obligatory recalls – during which software updates are also applied – at the order of Germany’s Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) since 2018.
The recalls at the order of the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) apply to a number of vehicle models (cars and vans) that comply with the Euro 6b or Euro 5 exhaust gas standards. The voluntary service measure for vehicles that are not included in the recall is continuing as planned.
Hardware retrofit program
In the previously defined priority regions, we are also participating in a hardware retrofit program for diesel vehicles that was initiated by the German federal government. Specifically, Daimler has agreed to provide a financial subsidy of up to €3,000 (gross) per vehicle for hardware retrofitting if certain conditions have been met. The hardware retrofitting must be developed and offered by a third-party supplier and approved by the German Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA). In the summer of 2019, the KBA approved retrofitting solutions for various vehicle models. The retrofitted vehicles must comply with the NOX limit value of 270 mg/km in real driving operation under specific conditions. This limit value is the result of negotiations with various automakers that had categorized this value as technically feasible. The aim is to guarantee a significant decrease of NOX emissions in permanent operation.
To make it as easy and efficient as possible for our customers to apply for the Daimler grant, we have set up a special website for this purpose. Interested parties visit this website in order to find out whether they fulfill the precise requirements for receiving the grant. If they are entitled to receive a hardware retrofit authorized by the KBA, they can use this website to submit a request for payment of the grant.
Internal and external options for registering a complaint
Daimler employees have the opportunity to report possible irregularities, failure to comply with regulations, or other types of complaints related to violations of permissible limits. They can submit such reports to their respective supervisors or to the responsible approval bodies. During the reporting period there were product-related investigations and official orders by authorities in the United States, the EU, and Germany. Some of the proceedings that were initiated have already been resolved. In order to correct such irregularities and avoid similar occurrences in the future, Daimler has already introduced appropriate preventive measures.
Diesel emission behavior: Governmental proceedings
In September 2019, the Stuttgart district attorney’s office issued a fine notice against Daimler based on a negligent violation of supervisory duties in the amount of €870 million which has become legally binding, thereby concluding the administrative offense proceedings against Daimler.
In the years 2018 and 2019, KBA issued various administrative orders holding that certain calibrations of specified functionalities in certain Mercedes-Benz diesel vehicles are to be qualified as impermissible defeat devices and ordered subsequent auxiliary provisions for the respective EC type approvals in this respect, including stops of the first registration and mandatory recalls. Daimler has filed timely objections against such administrative orders in order to have the open legal issues resolved, if necessary, also by a court of law.
In the course of its regular market supervision, KBA is routinely conducting further reviews of Mercedes-Benz vehicles and is asking questions about technical elements of the vehicles. In light of the aforementioned administrative orders issued by KBA, it is likely that in the course of the ongoing and/or further investigations, KBA will issue additional administrative orders holding that other Mercedes-Benz diesel vehicles are also equipped with impermissible defeat devices. Daimler has (in view of KBA’s interpretation of the law as a precaution) implemented a temporary delivery and registration stop with respect to certain models, also covering the used car, leasing, and financing businesses, and is constantly reviewing whether it can lift this delivery and registration stop in whole or in part. The new calibrations requested by KBA are being processed, and for a certain proportion of the vehicles, the relevant software has already been approved by KBA; the related recalls have insofar been initiated. It cannot be ruled out that software updates may be reworked and further delivery and registration stops may be ordered or resolved by the Company as a precautionary measure, also with a view to the used car, leasing and financing businesses, under the relevant circumstances. Daimler has initiated further investigations and otherwise continues to fully cooperate with the authorities and institutions.
Cleaner air in cities
In order to measurably improve air quality in cities, we are implementing a number of measures that go beyond the legal requirements.
For example, Daimler is supporting the German federal government’s concept for clean air and the safeguarding of individual mobility in cities. Within this framework we are implementing a series of measures in order to help improve air quality in urban areas in particular.
In addition to the measures mentioned above, we are introducing vehicles that comply with the Euro 6d-TEMP emissions standard. Significantly reduced NOX emissions are a characteristic feature of vehicles that are certified in accordance with the Euro 6d-TEMP standard. All Mercedes-Benz cars that can be ordered as new vehicles now comply with this standard. We also have a whole range of vehicles on the market that already comply with the even stricter Euro 6d standard, which will be binding for all new vehicles as of January 2021.
We would like to be able to assess the effects of modern diesel engines in our fleet and to calculate the risk of possible future driving restrictions as accurately as possible. That’s why we are observing and modeling the development of urban air quality at the well-known measuring stations in Germany. One of the measuring stations we are focusing on is located at “Am Neckartor” in Stuttgart, Germany. As a member of the Alliance for Air Quality, we discuss the measurement results with engineering companies, the city of Stuttgart, and the federal Ministry of Transport.
Particulate filters for gasoline engines
A gasoline particulate filter (GPF) is a technology for purifying the exhaust gases of gasoline engines. Within the filter, ultrafine particles are deposited on a highly porous ceramic layer and then subsequently burned by the hot exhaust gases of the engine. As a result, fewer of these particles are released into the air as particulate emissions. Daimler was a pioneer in the testing of this technology. We conducted the first tests with gasoline particulate filters as early as March 2014. In mid-2017 we began the comprehensive introduction of GPF for all Mercedes-Benz direct-injection gasoline engines. And since June 2018 we have been equipping all of these engines in Europe with GPFs. We are one of the first automakers to do so. Preparations are currently under way to take account of general conditions and future legal developments in other markets and to start the implementation of GPFs there.
Air quality in vehicle interiors
Good air quality in the vehicle interior and anti-allergenic vehicle surfaces contribute to the occupants’ safety and well-being. As early as the model development stage, we make sure that emissions in the interior are reduced to a minimum and that allergens are avoided. External allergens are effectively kept out by highly efficient filters in the air conditioning unit. Since 2016, most of our car model series have borne the seal of quality of ECARF, the European Centre for Allergy Research Foundation. The ECARF seal is awarded to products whose anti-allergenic properties have been demonstrated in scientific studies. In 2019 the ECARF seal was granted to the B-Class and to the GLE and the CLA models. In total, up to 70 percent of our European vehicle portfolio has been certified, and more models are currently in the process of certification.
The following measures are also helping to reduce interior emissions and allergenic substances in our vehicles:
- Further development of the Daimler-Benz delivery specifications with regard to emissions and odors in vehicle interiors (including limit values for suppliers)
- Further development of the materials and manufacturing processes used for interior components
- Monitoring of interior emissions by means of measurements in the Daimler vehicle testing chamber
Emission laboratory in Immendingen
Since the fall of 2018 we have been building a completely new emission measurement laboratory at the new Mercedes-Benz AG testing and technology center in Immendingen. The laboratory is now in the commissioning phase, and it will begin operating at the end of 2020. In the future, the lab’s roller test rigs will be capable of testing all Mercedes-Benz car and van models, This is relevant to emissions and electrical aspects such as power consumption and range tests. The special test rigs can simulate a variety of altitudes (ranging from sea level to 4,000 meters above sea level) as well as extreme climatic conditions (temperatures ranging from –30 to +50 °C). That makes it possible to transfer complex global developments and validations from the road to the new technology center. The facility will include several lab and workshop areas that will be used to test onboard diagnosis (OBD) systems and prepare for RDE test drives with portable emission measurement systems (PEMS).
How we assess the effectiveness of our management approach
Within the context of our “Ambition 2039” and our strong commitment to the Paris Agreement on climate protection, we combine both internal and external performance assessments in our management approach. In line with this approach, we derive measures for ensuring that we reach our goals and assess our implementation of these measures. The internal reviews are conducted by the specialist unit at short intervals throughout the year. The external review consists of an annual audit of a selection of our corporate goals and our attainment of them that is conducted by an auditing company. In addition, the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTI) monitors and confirms the conformity of our path toward goal attainment with the Paris Agreement on climate protection.
In the environmental workshop at our annual Daimler Sustainability Dialogue, we conduct in-depth discussions with environmental institutes and NGOs. Throughout the year, there are numerous discussions and direct exchanges with our Board of Management on the subject of climate protection. In addition, the feedback we continually receive from government and the public lets us know how the sustainability goals we have set for ourselves are being perceived and evaluated.
The attainment of our fleet’s CO2 emission targets has already been a component of the remuneration of our Board of Management for years now. In 2020 we will further differentiate this system and expand it to involve the entire senior management structure, from the department heads on up. We expect this process to motivate everyone involved even more strongly to reach the sustainability goals we have set for ourselves.
1 see Information on labeling