Daimler goodbye to diesel: only electric city buses from 2030

Status: 02/05/2022 2:22 p.m.

Daimler’s bus division will completely convert its range of city buses to electric drives by 2030. By then, the number of climate-friendly buses on German roads should increase sharply – but even more would be possible.

Daimler Buses, the bus division of Daimler Truck, intends to offer CO2-neutral vehicles in all segments in Europe and Latin America by 2030 and to sell only fully electric vehicles for city buses in Europe . This was announced by Daimler Buses boss Till Oberwörder. “We are focusing our investments on a purely electric city bus segment in Europe by the end of the decade.”

In 2018, Daimler Buses launched the all-electric eCitaro city bus. According to Oberwörder, there are now more than 600 eCitaros on European roads. The bus division sold 18,736 units last year. The company does not disclose the share of electric vehicles. In Germany, the manufacturer is the market leader with a market share of 45% of the still low number of electric city buses.

“strong upward trend”

But there’s more: According to the Association of German Transport Companies (VDV), around 1,200 electric buses are currently on German roads (as of February 2022). The trend is said to be up. This is also shown by the data from Statista. According to this, only 385 electric buses were in operation in 2020, and the following year there were already 727. In total, the VDV has around 35,000 regular buses.

Since buses are twice as expensive as those with diesel engines, they are subsidized by the state in Germany and other EU countries. By 2024, the federal government will contribute a total of 1.25 billion euros to the purchase of electric buses and the development of the charging infrastructure, said Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP). By 2030, one in two city buses should be electric.

According to data from the Federal Motor Transport Authority, for example, only 1% of the existing fleet was climate-friendly in 2020. In the case of new registrations, the proportion is currently ten to twelve percent, Oberwörder said. “By 2025, we expect 30-40%.”

“Unambitious goals”

In order to increase the share, Minister Wissing issued financing decisions at the beginning of April for a total amount of around 600 million euros for the purchase of climate-friendly buses. According to the Ministry of Transport, about 1,700 buses would be funded, including about 1,400 battery buses, 150 fuel cell buses, 50 trolley buses and 100 gasoline buses.

VDV vice-president Werner Overkamp then criticized that this number had to be seen in the context of around 5,000 e-buses currently being applied for: “If nothing changes here, many companies transport companies – especially medium and small ones – will stop ordering e-buses. buses should refrain from fines.

However, the industry association praises the funding program in principle, and a second round of funding can be expected in the second quarter. Nevertheless, the VDV considers the federal government’s goals to be unambitious: “With the appropriate support from the federal government, we can use much more climate-friendly electric buses by 2030 than currently desired”, says Overkamp .

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