Daimler’s European truck range will be CO2-neutral by 2039, a move it will achieve by replacing diesel-powered engines with battery-powered and hydrogen fuel cell drivelines.
The company is already conducting on-road customer trials with its FUSO eCanter and Mercedes-Benz eActros trucks (pictured), and says these will be commercially available from 2022. Hydrogen-powered trucks will be in series production by the end of the 2020s, with trials beginning several years earlier.
But Christoph Behrendt, head of strategic projects at Daimler Trucks, stressed that for carbon-neutral drivelines to be a success, they will need to at least have the same total cost of ownership as diesel-powered trucks. This, he says, will be difficult if fossil fuels continue to be relatively inexpensive. With this in mind, he is calling for governments to incentivise the use of zero-emission drivelines.
But even with incentives in place, he warned that switching to CO2-neutral propulsion will make transport and logistics more expensive, and will lead to increasing prices. “We will need to adjust, both as an industry and as a society,” he said.