Daimler Trucks and Buses will use the Tokyo Motor Show this week to launch its plans to pursues a sustainable corporate strategy and the aim to offer only new vehicles that are CO2-neutral in driving operation (“tank-to-wheel across European, Japanese and North America by 2039.
The company will use the Tokyo automotive expo for the global unveiling of Fuso’s fuel-cell prototype “Vision F-Cell” hydrogen truck. The company used the 2017 Tokyo Show to reveal its eCanter electric trucks and the premiere of the new hydrogen fuel cell machine again gives it a march on its Japanese rivals Hino and Isuzu.
Daimler Trucks has already annunciated its plans to have mass produced trucks and buses with battery-electric drive in its vehicle portfolio in its main sales regions of Europe, USA and Japan by 2022.
Daimler says that by the end of the next decade it will extend its range of vehicles with mass produced hydrogen-powered and proclaims that all European Daimler truck and bus plants will be CO2-neutral by 2022 with all of its other other plants around the world to follow.
Daimler Trucks chief, Martin Daum, addressed the a major climate conference in Berlin this week saying that the company is committed to the goals of the Paris Climate Protection Agreement and to the decarbonization of the 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,” said Martin Daum.
“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 (Japan, Europe, North America) by the year 2039,” he added.
“Truly CO2-neutral transport only works with battery-electric or hydrogen-based drive. We were the first manufacturer to seriously commit to electromobility in heavy trucks and, today, are pioneers and in all segments with electric vehicles in customer use. With our holistic approach to e-mobility in the bus sector, which consists of an electric city bus and consulting, we are already making a significant contribution to the locally emission-free public transport of the future and air pollution control in urban areas,” he said.
Daum went on to call on government’s to do more to incentivise the uptake of CO2 neutral vehicles in coming years
“Locally CO2-neutral trucks and buses won’t sell themselves, because even in 2040 — despite all efforts by manufacturers — the acquisition and total cost of ownership of trucks and buses with electric drives will be still higher than for diesel vehicles. We therefore need government incentives to make locally CO2-neutral trucks and buses competitive,” Daum said.
“Its particularly necessary to convert and stagger 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,” continued Daum.
Daimler says more than 140 eCanter are already in service with customers in cities worldwide, including New York City, Tokyo, Berlin, London, Amsterdam, Paris and Lisbon while the Mercedes-Benz eActros heavy-duty truck is already in intensive use by customers in Germany and Switzerland as part of the eActros “innovation fleet”. Meanwhile in the USA the medium-duty Freightliner eM2 and the heavy-duty Freightliner eCascadia are also undergoing intensive field tests with customers.
In buses its battery electric Mercedes eCitaro has been in production in Europe since 2018, is already operating in cities such as Berlin, Hamburg, Oslo and Ystad in Sweden and the company says the next-generation e Citaro with more advanced next gen solid-state lithium-polymer battery technology will be available in the second half of 2020. It also claims that as of 2022 the battery bus will be available with a hydrogen-based fuel cell range extender.
The company says it has been working on hydrogen drive technologies based for more than 30 years and says that its fuel cell vehicles have traveled several millions of kilometres, demonstrating the marketability of the drive concept.
However it says there are very specific challenges in the commercial vehicle sector, such as service life and payload availability with battery-electric and hydrogen-drive technologies offering different benefits, depending on the purpose and that they will complement each other with the decisive criterion for truck and bus customers being the total cost of ownership.