Martin Daum spricht auf der Daimler Truck Media Night der IAA 2022

Our vision of leading sustainable transportation

18.09.2022 | CEO News

Rede von Martin Daum, Vorsitzender des Vorstands der Daimler Truck AG, anlässlich der Daimler Truck Media Night auf der Messe IAA Transportation in Hannover (nur in englischer Sprache).

- Es gilt das gesprochene Wort -

Welcome everyone! Welcome to our Daimler Truck Media Night! Great to have you all with us!

A special welcome to Hildegard Müller, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry. And also a big welcome to everyone joining by livestream.

Ladies and Gentlemen, dear friends and partners, it has been four years since the last IAA and we are very glad to be back. The IAA is a great opportunity to get in touch with media, customers, drivers and all other stakeholders. And we have a lot of innovative products and services here to show and to experience. My colleagues from our executive board – Karin Rådström, Karl Deppen and Till Oberwörder – will share that exciting news with you shortly.

But first I would like to give you a brief update on our vision of leading sustainable transportation. I want to lay out how far we have come on the road to zero-emission transport – and what’s next.

My first message is this: A lot has happened since our last IAA. Our industry and Daimler Truck have used the past four years very well. Back in fall of 2018, for example, we at Daimler Truck had just one zero-emission vehicle in series production: our FUSO eCanter light truck.

This year we have a portfolio of eight different zero-emission vehicles in series production – in Europe as well as in the Americas and Japan. So, we are quickly transforming our product portfolio to e-drive. However, at the same time we are not just focused on speed – we are equally focused on quality. And I should rather say: qualities. Plural.

We make sure our zero-emission vehicles come with state-of-the-art technologies. And I do not just mean our top-notch zero-emission technologies, but also our other technologies in the areas of safety, connectivity and the like. Or, to put it differently: Our zero-emission vehicles provide all of the leading qualities our trucks and buses have always stood for. That is why our zero-emission vehicles use the same brands as our conventional vehicles – just with an additional “e” in front. Citaro becomes eCitaro, Actros becomes eActros and so on.

This “e”, of course, stands for electric, but it could also stand for exciting. Because these newest members of our Daimler Truck family get a lot of exciting customer feedback. Such feedback for sure makes us proud – but not complacent. Going forward, we will further improve our zero-emission products. We will make them better year-by-year and generation-by-generation. You will see proof of that here at IAA.

Equally important: We will continue to further broaden our zero-emission product portfolio – and you will see that, too! We have a clear roadmap with clear timelines for our next production launches and with a clear technology strategy. We are focusing on battery and fuel-cell vehicles, because we are convinced our industry will need a dual strategy for the sustainable transport of the future. We are also convinced we do not need a “triple” strategy that includes natural gas -- because gas-powered drives are just an expensive bridging technology that still relies on a fossil fuel and emits CO₂.

At Daimler Truck, we are sharply focused on truly emission-free technologies. And within five short years we will have a comprehensive zero-emission product portfolio, with vehicles that serve the full range from urban and regional to the most demanding long-haul use cases. By 2030 we expect our zero-emission vehicles to account for up to 60 percent of our total sales in Europe.

Now, I do not want to let this sound too easy. Because it will not be easy. There is still some challenging work ahead of us – and it continues to require our full focus. But the remaining steps regarding our vehicle transformation are so clear that I am confident to say: You can consider it a done deal. We are delivering – in every sense of the word. And that is something we are very proud of!

That said, let me make one thing very clear: I am not suggesting that the transformation of transport can be considered a done deal. Because vehicle transformation and transport transformation are not the same. For the sustainable transport of the future having the right vehicles alone is not enough. We also need the right infrastructure. Or, to be more precise: We need a comprehensive green energy infrastructure. And as forecasts clearly show: In the years to come, demand for green energy will increase many times over, not just in our industry but across the entire economy. So, using electricity directly off the grid alone will not be sufficient. We will also need to import and to store green energy – and the best energy carrier to do that is green hydrogen. We will therefore also need an infrastructure for hydrogen.

The good news is this: Building two infrastructures – one for green electricity and one for green hydrogen – will be less expensive than building just one infrastructure. This is what experts have found out. It may sound counterintuitive at first, but it is actually cheaper to scale two infrastructures to some medium level than to scale just one infrastructure to an extreme level. Still, building these infrastructures along the entire value chain is a huge task with long lead times. That means all stakeholders must join together to work on it on all levels at the same time -- on energy generation, energy distribution and even the physical points where the vehicles recharge.

At Daimler Truck we’re contributing to add momentum: We are collaborating with other manufacturers and energy companies on pilot infrastructure projects, not just here in Europe but also in North America. And I appreciate all of the initiatives by the EU and the German government to help get this critical work done. I also appreciate it if bureaucratic hurdles are taken out of the way whenever possible.

To conclude this topic, I want to encourage all stakeholders to look at this infrastructure task as a tremendous opportunity. As we speak, a huge new market is coming into existence. And as we know from past experience: There is hardly anything more powerful than market forces once they are set into motion. Now is the time to unleash the full power of these market forces. Because with a view to the Paris climate agreement and CO₂ reduction goals we have no time to lose. As the record-breaking heat in Europe this summer has reminded us once again: The clock is ticking!

So much for the big picture of sustainable transportation and its success factors. Now, for the remainder of our Media Night, we will gladly focus on our great new products. We want to introduce to you our next generation trucks and buses. In my view they are true engineering masterpieces. And we have innovative new services to complement them.

Thank you very much!