Daimler is to push forward more aggressively with its electrification plan in the wake of higher emissions results from WLTP tests.
The company has revealed that pollution levels in Europe for the Mercedes-Benz Cars division rose by 7% last year, due in part to the more stringent WLTP test procedure introduced in September last year for all models sold on the continent.
European Union regulators have forced the automotive industry to cut greenhouse gas emissions drastically to mitigate the impacts of global warming, forcing a 40% reduction in CO2 levels between 2007 and 2021.
However, due to the Dieselgate scandal in 2015, stricter emissions WLTP testing was introduced. This replaced the NEDC laboratory test and also features a real-world driving emissions (RDE) component. This has caused average emissions readings to rise across the industry.
The new regime, together with a shift in consumer taste towards heavier SUV models and the decline in diesel sales, pushed average fleet emission levels at Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz and Smart passenger car business to 135 grams of CO2 per kilometre (g/km) in Europe in 2018, up from 125 grams in 2017.
This rise in average fleet emissions is therefore likely to make it very difficult for the company to meet the 2021 CO2 target of 95g/km. As fines are set for every gram over the limit, Daimler could be facing a large financial penalty.
On its media website, Daimler says that it has committed itself to the CO2 targets for fleet consumption. ‘The roadmap is in place, and the strategic decisions for implementation have been made,’ it says. ‘The entire Mercedes-Benz Cars portfolio will be electrified by 2022, from smart to the big SUVs, starting with 48-volt models and ranging from a wide selection of plug-in hybrids to all-electric vehicles. And all-electric models will make up between 15 and 25% of Mercedes-Benz Cars total sales already by 2025, depending on individual customer preferences and the development of public infrastructure. To achieve this, it is planned to launch more than ten all-electric cars.’
Following the revelation that Daimler vehicles are emitting higher CO2 levels, Jochen Hermann, vice president of eDrive development at Mercedes-Benz, said that it would lead to ‘even stronger electrification.’
‘Our clear goal is to sustainably lower the emissions of every Mercedes-Benz Cars vehicle. One concrete measure is the gradual electrification of the entire portfolio’, added Britta Seeger, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Marketing & Sales. ‘With this, we will continue to offer our customers attractive and individual mobility services in the future and thus significantly increase the share of electric vehicles in our total sales over the next few years.’
The first EQ model in Mercedes' new EV line-up will be the EQC SUV/crossover, which is due to launch in the middle of this year.
EU lawmakers agreed in December to a further 37.5 % cut in CO2 emissions between 2021 and 2030, with a 15% drop in 2025.