Martin Daum, Chair of ACEA’s Commercial Vehicle Board and CEO of Daimler Truck, discusses CO2-neutral freight transport with Ottmar Edenhofer, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

The focus of their podcast discussion is on CO2 pricing – because, besides the right vehicle technology and the necessary charging and refuelling infrastructure, the total cost of ownership (TCO) is the key factor for truck operators. However, CO2-neutral trucks are currently considerably more expensive than conventional trucks.

Martin Daum: “Our customers make rational purchase decisions. They don’t want to compromise when it comes to suitability for everyday use, tonnage and the range of their trucks – and the same applies to costs too. Now it’s a case of creating the right framework and conditions to make CO2-neutral vehicles competitive – in other words, the best choice for our customers.

Mr Daum and Professor Dr Edenhofer discuss a taxation system based on CO2 levels – in addition to incentives for CO2-neutral technology. For Edenhofer, however, an emissions trading system is the essential lever for reducing greenhouse gases. “Economic players need planning certainty. That is why the EU should introduce a transparent, stable minimum price path as part of its emissions trading system,” says Professor Dr Edenhofer, who is one of the world’s leading experts on the economic aspects of climate change. “Europe should be courageous enough to launch a paradigm shift.”

Mr Daum spoke of the “magic formula” combining great products from the truck industry, the right infrastructure plus cost-parity. “The entire European truck industry is feverously working towards a broad, comprehensive offering of electric and fuel-cell trucks. But we need to work in parallel on all three factors,” Daum explained. Mr Edenhofer concluded: “Let’s hope these signals are heard by the regulators.”

Source: ACEA