Annual Report 2020

Environmental issues

Approximately one fifth of all greenhouse gas emissions in Europe are produced as a result of the transport of people and goods on streets and roads — and that share is rising. We are taking deliberate measures to counteract this trend and have made climate protection a core element of our business strategy.

For us, the Paris Agreement represents more than just an obligation, as our commitment to its targets stems from our fundamental convictions. We therefore believe that it is our mission to develop technical innovations that will lead to CO2-neutral mobility around the world.

Our goal for Mercedes-Benz Cars & Vans is to make our entire new car fleet CO2-neutral by 2039. We plan to achieve this goal using a holistic approach that includes ambitious targets for all stages of automotive value creation — from the supply chain to production, the vehicle use phase, and vehicle disposal and recycling. We plan to offer our customers several electric variants in all Mercedes-Benz car segments (from the smart to large SUVs) by 2022 and to have plug-in hybrids or all-electric vehicles account for more than 50 % of our car sales by 2030. By 2030, we also plan to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of the new vehicle fleet during the vehicle use phase ("well-to-wheel") by more than 40 % as compared to 2018. This target has been confirmed by the Science Based Targets Initiative.

We have set ourselves the goal of making our fleet of new commercial vansin Europe, Japan and North America CO2-neutral by 2039. This relates to CO2 emissions in driving operation ("tank-to-wheel").

The ultimate goal at Daimler Trucks & Buses is to achieve CO₂-neutral transport on the road by 2050. As early as 2022, we want our vehicle portfolio to additionally include series-produced vehicles with battery-electric drive systems in the main sales regions Europe, the United States and Japan. In the second half of the decade, we plan to augment our vehicle portfolio with series-produced fuel cell vehicles that run on hydrogen. As it will take about ten years to completely renew a fleet by 2050, another of our goals is to only offer new vehicles that are CO2-neutral in driving operation ("tank to wheel") in Europe, Japan and North America by 2039. Daimler’s management is responsible for setting strategic goals, including targets for reducing our CO2 emissions, and for monitoring the progress made in achieving these goals.

We are developing all-electric and electrified model variants for all of our vehicle models — from cars and vans to trucks and buses. Our development focus is battery-electric mobility for cars and all-electric drive systems with batteries or fuel cells for trucks and buses. The Product Steering Board (PSB) is responsible for monitoring the development of the CO₂ emissions of the car fleet in markets in which such emissions are regulated. It is also responsible for providing forecasts. In its evaluations, the PSB takes 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 (Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure). The Board of Management then decides which measures need to be implemented. On the market side of the equation, price and volume control measures can also affect our ability to achieve our targets over the short term. For this reason, such measures are discussed with the Board of Management within the framework of its regular reporting on the current state of CO2 fleet compliance.

In the reporting year, the average CO2 emissions of our total passenger car fleet in Europe (European Union, United Kingdom, Norway and Iceland) decreased to an estimated 104 g/km as measured on the basis of legal regulations (NEDC, including vans that are registered as passenger cars). This means that we achieved the CO2 targets in Europe (European Union, United Kingdom, Norway and Iceland) in 2020. Whereas the CO2 fleet targets were determined on the basis of the NEDC in 2020, they will be based on the WLTP values in 2021, in accordance with the regulatory requirements. This will lead to an adjustment of the fuel consumption targets and an increase of the certification values. Due to their greater relevance, we have for the first time defined the CO2 emissions of our total passenger newcar fleet in Europe as “the most important” non-financial performance indicator in the reporting year 2020. For more information on how we expect the CO2 emissions of our car fleet in Europe to develop, see the chapter »Outlook«.

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. The GHG fleet figures for the CO2 emissions of Daimler vehicles in the United States have improved over the last few years. For the 2020 model year, these figures are 256 g CO2/mi for the passenger car fleet and 289 g CO2/mi for light trucks (on the basis of the most recent forecast). Nevertheless, we were unable to achieve our average fleet targets of 196 g CO2/mi for the car fleet and 265 g CO2/mi for light trucks. However, we were able to close the remaining gap by taking advantage of the flexibility measures specified in the legislation (including the purchase of external credits).

In China, domestic and imported cars are reported separately and according to fleet consumption values, unlike in Europe and the United States. This means the figures for the imported fleet are the relevant figures for our wholly owned subsidiary Mercedes-Benz China (MBCL). The target was 6.25 l/100 km; the figure that was actually achieved was 8.02 l/100 km (preliminary fleet consumption value — the final fleet consumption value might be better if off-cycle technologies are included). We will purchase external credits at short notice in order to close consumption gaps in the fleet’s achievement of the target. We aim to achieve our emission targets in China in the medium term with our joint venture partner Beijing Benz Automotive (BBAC) by expanding our range of all-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids.

The EU has stipulated a 15 percent reduction of the CO2 emissions of new heavy-duty trucks (>16 t) by 2025 and a 30 percent reduction by 2030 (as compared to 2019/2020). To this end, the European Commission worked with automakers, scientists and other experts to develop a standardized simulation program known as VECTO (Vehicle Energy Consumption Calculation Tool) for all of Europe. VECTO also includes associated procedures for testing and measuring CO₂ emissions and fuel consumption. Data will be collected from all over Europe and will be made transparent. We have defined a clear technology roadmap to enable us to meet the EU’s requirements.

Additional information on climate protection, air quality and resource conservation can be found in the Daimler Sustainability Report, which will be made available at the end of March 2021, on our website:

Sustainability at Daimler
Employee issues