Mercedes-Benz to be carbon-neutral by 2039, chairman encourages policy-makers to adopt ‘tech neutrality’

Mercedes-Benz aims to have a passenger car fleet that is carbon-neutral within the next 20 years, the German automaker has stated. It plans to have plug-in hybrids and pure electric vehicles comprise more than half of its car sales by 2030 to help achieve that target.

The aim of having a carbon-neutral passenger car fleet means a ‘fundamental transformation of the company’ that will take place within three product cycles, Daimler chairman Ola Källenius said at an event in which the automaker revealed its ‘Ambition2039’ plan.

“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. But as a company founded by engineers, we believe technology can also help to engineer a better future,” Källenius said, noting that the company’s way to sustainable mobility is through innovation.

The firm’s Factory 56 production facility will be the blueprint for the carbon neutrality initiative, where the new addition to the automaker’s Sindelfingen plant is powered by renewable energy and will be carbon dioxide-neutral from the beginning. All of the company’s European plants will follow suit by 2022, Källenius said.

The new production plant in Jawor, Poland harnesses wind power for generating electricity, while electricity will also be drawn from renewable sources for the production of the EQC pure electric vehicle and at the battery production facility in Kamenz, Saxony, the company said.

Daimler also said that the electricity from some regions which powers EVs can be a very significant source of CO2, depending on how it is generated. Mercedes Me Charge facilities at various public charging stations in Europe draw from renewable energy sources wherever possible, it said.

The company’s work on developing electrification solutions between its divisions is currently focused on battery-electric mobility, although there is also room and need to continue research work on other solutions such as fuel cells and e-fuels, Källenius said.

“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,” the company’s chairman said.