The chairman of Germany’s largest luxury carmaker, Daimler-Benz, told the European Union’s Greens party congress on November 13 that he wants CO2-free cars on the roads.
As reported by the Reuters news agency, Dieter Zetsche, said his firm had not missed the boat developing electric cars and said it backs climate protection goals.
But he dismissed their call to ban the sale of new cars powered by petrol or diesel by 2030.
“Many of you probably thought ‘Letting the Daimler boss talk about transportation here is like letting [Donald] Trump talk about women’s policies’,” Zetsche told the 800 delegates at the environmentalist party’s annual congress in Muenster.
But Zetsche backed one of the Greens’ central policies for the 2017 election, namely that the car industry’s future depends on developing emission-free cars.
“It might surprise some of you but I agree entirely,” said Zetsche. “The decarbonisation of industrial nations is necessary and carmakers will have to play a role.”
In September, Zetsche told journalists at the Paris Motor Show that Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz and Smart brands will launch more than 10 electric cars by 2025, and zero-emission vehicles will make up between 15% and 25% of overall Mercedes sales by then.
Zetsche also insisted that the Greens and carmakers have much in common. He said: “Those who see carmakers as the root of all evil might not have noticed every second electric car in Europe is made in Germany. The old way of thinking pitting those obsessed with high-powered cars… against joyless anti-car ecologists has been overtaken by reality.”
“That’s good too because the transformation the car industry is facing will have an impact on the whole country,” he added.