Daimler Truck: Diesel trucks could quickly go out of fashion in Europe


The truck manufacturer Daimler Truck is confident that it will overcome conventional diesel technology for trucks in the EU faster than the political target. One strives to have the CO2-Andreas Gorbach, the company’s chief technology officer, told the German press agency that emissions for its own truck fleet should be significantly reduced by 2030 than required by the international community. It is possible “that by 2030 we will have a share of 40, 50 or 60 percent of CO2-Achieve neutral battery or fuel cell trucks for our sales in the EU and then also achieve a corresponding reduction in CO2-Emissions contributes “.

The wide range in the percentages results from the fact that it is difficult to predict “how the electricity and hydrogen prices will develop exactly, how the expansion of the infrastructure is progressing in both areas and whether politicians are quickly setting the course for a level playing field against diesel- Truck puts “.

The EU currently stipulates that truck manufacturers must pay the CO2-The emissions of the fleet of its newly registered vehicles must reduce by 15 percent by 2025 and by 30 percent by 2030 compared to the reference period from mid-2019 to mid-2020. Otherwise there is a high penalty. Industry representatives had recently repeatedly called for higher subsidies for alternative drives in order to achieve these goals.

According to Gorbach, the key is that the purchase of alternatively powered trucks must pay off as quickly as possible for buyers. Politicians must provide incentives here. “As a truck manufacturer, we cannot say like a premium car supplier: We now only offer electric vehicles and that costs the customer a certain amount more per car,” said Gorbach. “The switch only works in the truck market if the business added value is immediately there for the customer. This automatically results in a rapidly increasing market share for climate-neutral drives.”

The industry’s goal must be to bring battery-electric trucks “to the level of today’s diesel vehicles” from their total cost of ownership by the mid-2020s and fuel cell trucks in the second half of the decade. “Aside from the purchase price, the main thing is that after a few years of using the truck, the customer must have the same amount of money in his pocket as he would have had if he had operated a diesel truck.”

The commercial idea is more important to many truck customers than the environmental aspect. “Of course, there are truck customers who, based on their sustainability strategy, are already saying: I want to drive green. But that is not the majority,” said Gorbach. “Customers think economically. And as long as the operation of a diesel truck is more economical for the customer than that of a fuel cell or battery truck, they will usually continue to opt for diesel.”

Daimler Truck AG is currently repositioning itself in order to survive the competition between the big players in the industry. Not only is it investing billions in the development of alternative drives – on top of that, the previous truck subsidiary is to be spun off from the entire Daimler group and listed separately on the stock exchange. On October 1, these plans are to be approved by the shareholders at an extraordinary general meeting. The bottom line is that there should be two independent groups: on the one hand Daimler Truck for the truck and bus business, on the other hand Mercedes-Benz for the car and van business.


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