Drive system strategy
Our strategy for achieving emission-free mobility. Global trends are changing the automotive environment and causing structural shifts. Shrinking oil reserves, rising energy prices, a growing urban population, and intense demand for mobility are all factors that are also driving the transformation of the automotive industry. The burden that can be put on the world’s ecosystem is limited, and new solutions are needed to address the impact our mobility has on the environment and the contribution it makes to global warming. Our aim is therefore to substantially reduce fuel consumption and to minimize pollutant emissions today and completely eliminate them in the long run. To this end, we are developing cutting-edge drive technologies that meet current and future mobility requirements in all segments of road traffic.
More traffic, less CO2 – development until 2030
Transportation is responsible for around 23 percent1 of all the energy- and process-related CO2emissions generated by human beings worldwide. 17 percent of the total1 are caused by road traffic. Based on trends that have been observed for some time, it is assumed that the total transport volume of the three chief means of transportation (road, rail, and ship) will rise to over 1,000 billion ton-kilometers by 2030.3 The trends themselves are based on predictions about the traffic situation in Germany in 2025.2 The biggest increase will be posted by road freight traffic.
On the basis of the traffic forecast, the Shell truck study3 published in 2010 determined that CO2 emissions from road traffic would decline in absolute terms. However, both of the scenarios examined (the trend and the alternative scenario) showed that commercial vehicles’ share of the CO2 emissions from road traffic would rise. The main reason for this is the different rates of transport performance development. Whereas the transport performance of passenger cars will more or less stay the same until 2030, it will double for road freight traffic.
The study showed that technological improvements in commercial vehicles are a precondition for reducing the CO2 emissions from road freight traffic. The main way we intend to achieve this is through innovations that continuously make our commercial vehicles and passenger cars cleaner and more efficient. To this end, we have set ourselves appropriate targets.
Objectives and achievements
1 International Energy Agency (IEA) 2010: CO2 Emissions from Fuel Combustion Highlights (2010 Edition), p. 65.
2 BVU Beratergruppe Verkehr + Umwelt GmbH, Intraplan 2007: Prognose der deutschlandweiten Verkehrsverflechtungen 2025.
3 Shell Deutschland Oil GmbH 2010: Shell Lkw-Studie – Fakten, Trends und Perspektiven im Straßengüterverkehr bis 2030.
As part of our Road to Emission-free Driving strategy, we are implementing these measures for our passenger cars and commercial vehicles. Our roadmap focuses on the following elements:
- We are continuing to develop our vehicles with state-of-the-art combustion engines and optimizing them in order to achieve significantly lower fuel consumption and emissions.
- We are achieving noticeable further increases in efficiency through customized hybridization, i.e. the combination of combustion engines and electric motors.
- Our electric vehicles are making locally emission-free driving possible.
Our aim is to create an intelligent mix of the aforementioned technologies. Such a drive system mix would offer the right solution for every mobility requirement – from urban commuters to long-distance drivers.
My Sustainability Report
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