Transportation Matters | #01.02 Joschka Fischer zu Nachhaltigkeit

Transportation Matters | #01.02 Joschka Fischer zu Nachhaltigkeit


“Transportation Matters” The CEO Podcast of Daimler Trucks & Buses Hello and a very warm welcome to our podcast “Transportation Matters”. This is where Daimler Trucks & Buses CEO Martin Daum meets special guests from all over the world. He talks with them about new trends, ground-breaking ideas and key issues in the transport industry – and beyond. Today it is all about climate change, one of the huge challenges of our time – and Martin Daum has one of the pioneers in sustainability issues as his guest: Joschka Fischer. 1983 Fischer was voted into the German Parliament. That made him a member of the first parliamentary group of the Green Party in the Bundestag. Later he was Minister of the Environment in Hessen, Spokesman of Alliance 90/The Green Party and from 1998 to 2005 Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor in the red-green Federal Government. In 2006, Fischer withdrew from active politics. Today he is the Director of Joschka Fischer & Company, a strategy consultancy for companies on the road to transformation, which he founded ten years ago, and he remains an attentive observer of the international political scene. Martin Daum and Joschka Fischer talk about sustainable logistics of the future – and about how ecological and economic objectives can be reconciled. Martin Daum: Hello Mr Fischer. Joschka Fischer: Hello. Martin Daum: A very warm welcome to our podcast. Entering into the current political debate, there is one sentence that has gone through the press lately that really sticks in my mind. “I want you to panic.” It is also one of the “Fridays for Future” slogans. Do you have the feeling that this sense of urgency has not yet been heard
and that the sentence is therefore justified? Or is panic the wrong advice? Joschka Fischer: The sentence comes from Greta Thunberg. Firstly, I think it is great that the young people are now caring about the future. It is fantastic. Secondly, they are of course seeing the extent of the climate crisis developing and that is where the sense of a certain alarmism comes from. Factually, it is justified. But there is no avoiding the fact that we need solutions, be they political and social or, above all, technical solutions. I mean, humanity continues to grow. That means an increasing population on Earth and it is not just a question of absolute figures, but of relative ones too. They all want to reach a standard of living and social security that roughly equates to ours. This too is a huge driver of growth. And in view of the global growth, the secondary effects are,
from my point of view, becoming primary results. And this is a challenge for today’s generation of managers,
one which they are actually not accustomed to. The industrial society as we know it, which has accompanied me my entire life, is under systemic pressure due to its success, with the unintended secondary consequences suddenly coming increasingly to the fore. Martin Daum: And I realize this time and again in my own profession. That this is reinforced by the fact that many more countries are now pushing their way towards a higher level of prosperity, which we already take for granted. Joschka Fischer: Just take China. Every time I am there I am,
to put it bluntly, simply flabbergasted. Notwithstanding all the criticism I have for the Communist Party, it is a huge achievement. Within one generation – at the start of the 70s China was still basically insignificant as far as global GDP was concerned – around one percent. And to have climbed from virtually zero to the top within one generation is phenomenal. In social terms, this means that millions of people have been lifted out of absolute poverty and have become part of modern society, part of the consumer society of the middle class. It is probably the greatest achievement of the late 20th and early 21st century. But it does of course have consequences. Martin Daum: And we can always see this immediately in the truck sector.
I have a rule of thumb: the normal truck market is roughly: for one million inhabitants 1000 trucks per annum. In Germany 80 million people, 80,000 trucks. USA: 320 million people, 300,000 trucks. This also applies to China now: one billion people, one million trucks. This makes the Chinese truck market as big as America, Japan and the whole of Europe together. And I am now seeing it in markets such as Indonesia and India,
where the ratio is not yet there. Where it’s one to two, i.e. half and even down to 20%, but where there is a tremendous need to catch up. And if these markets reach the same ratio, which is actually nothing more than an expression of the standard of living, then the volume will double in terms of vehicles on the road all over the world, and thus also the impact on the climate. Therefore, something has to be done to counteract this. Joschka Fischer: Take your sector, the automotive industry. What is the automotive industry’s biggest problem? Its success! If just a few super-rich people were to drive their Lamborghinis
and goodness knows what else, that would be scandalous, socially speaking. But it would not really be a huge burden on the environment. It is this massive success. And that brings the secondary effects to the fore. Due to the exhaust gas emissions. There is no better example of this than in China. I was there for the first time in 1985. At that time everyone still rode round Beijing on a bicycle – everyone. And today it is an endless traffic jam. Martin Daum: And now that leads us to the problem, as you rightly say: It’s the success that we as an industry have created a need – in the passenger car sector for individual mobility, and in the truck sector for trading goods – which we satisfy optimally and with maximum efficiency. If you’re out on the road in a long-distance truck with 40 tonnes, i.e. 30 tonnes of freight, you can get by with 28 litres per 100 kilometres. That is extremely low if you convert that into how many litres per kilogram I need. So it is significantly less efficient to move my body in a passenger car,
even in a highly efficient passenger car. And of course this efficiency has also increased the volume of freight,
making transportation over long distances possible in the first place. This has become firmly established in society – it meets a need. If I now come up with alternative powertrains, in this case: battery-electric drive. Then that is initially considerably more expensive.
And if the carrier now has a choice between a diesel truck and an electric truck. We always call this “total cost of ownership”.
So how many cents a mile are your operating costs. That includes the procurement price. That includes maintenance.
And of course there is the fuel too. But there is also depreciation to consider, residual values etc. Considering all this, you have to say that the electric truck
amounts to about a factor of two compared with the diesel truck. The Total Cost of Ownership describes the overall operating costs of a truck or bus. This is the decisive criterion when it comes to making a new purchase. For trucks and buses are capital goods where customers make very precise calculations and decide in favour of the product which is the most favourably priced for them over the entire lifecycle. Overall operating costs include far more than the procurement price:
for example, the expenditure for drivers, fuel and maintenance. Martin Daum: And in the long term I don’t see the gap being bridged in any way, shape or form if you calculate based on today’s assumptions. We will no doubt be able to reduce the gap through innovations. But it won’t be possible to close it in any significant way. And then the entrepreneur makes their decision and says:
“Well I would rather drive the cheap diesel than the expensive e-truck.” How do you solve this dilemma? Joschka Fischer: This then creates the need for political regulation: what do we want? Or if pressure from climate protection intensifies – what do we really need to want? I mean, what regulation has to be introduced.
And I don’t think there is any getting round that. This is absolutely the general problem you have in the entire environmental sector, the technological increase in efficiency is eaten up by growth. Martin Daum: With the normal conventional diesel technology, yes sure. Our consumption efficiencies, which are often long-term,
between one and one and a half percent a year. But if I now go over a long period of time, they also come in periodic leaps. But if I do it on an average basis, it is about one to one and a half percent. And that is also, for instance, the kind of increase we see in goods transportation. This means that we have managed to leave emissions in Western Europe at the same level. In the developing world, where the market is increasing at a much more significant rate, fuel consumption is increasing as a whole, naturally,
although the individual truck has become more efficient. This is not enough as far as the future is concerned. Therefore, we must, in my opinion, take radical measures. We really turned around some time ago and we said: we want to electrify all our products, which we currently offer in the
commercial vehicle sector, from the city bus to the long-distance truck. Joschka Fischer: Effective environmental policy is not possible without the business. But as we have just established, it is the triangle of politics, society and business
that must cooperate with one another. This is crucial. On the other hand, I regard it as a huge mistake, also intellectually, mentally. That many in business still see the issue of climate protection and the environment as a slowing down factor, as a cost factor. Which it is, without a doubt. But other factors are as well. I see an incredible opportunity for innovation here. The whole world is now saying: we are now heading towards a recession. You can see this as painful turn of fate. But you can also see it as an opportunity to trigger a new cycle of innovation. And where should this happen, what direction should it take? I believe that the issue of climate protection and the issue of preserving the environment and creating jobs for the world of tomorrow must be front and centre. Martin Daum: And there is a resounding Yes to that from me, no Ifs or Buts. I completely agree with you. And not now with a “But…”– and an economic instrument following. What I always found exciting to observe, as you know I worked in the USA for a long time and I still have very strong roots here in Germany. Our diesel and petrol prices in Europe are virtually twice as high as those in the USA and it is not the end of the world. If I were to go to the USA today and say: “Let us double the petrol and diesel price.” Then the response would be: “But that would be the end of the world.” Joschka Fischer: It was the same story here in the past. Martin Daum: It is still the same today. Joschka Fischer: Yes, I know. In the past, I was active in the Green Party where, on the eve of the parliamentary elections, where Gerhard Schröder then succeeded Helmut Kohl with Red/Green, we passed a “five Marks for a litre of petrol” resolution in Magdeburg. You can image what sort of hurricane that was. Martin Daum: How was it? Tell me more. Everyone has practically forgotten all about it. Joschka Fischer: My party had internal tendencies towards radicalism. Therefore, we always had to get out of everything immediately, straight away. Which does not work in the real world. And so a resolution was passed, also for internal party reasons,
in order to rub it in with the realists who were on their way towards governing. Five Deutschmarks for a litre of petrol. The Bild newspaper got to know about this and not just the Bild newspaper, but they were first. Wow, that made a big splash: “The Green Party have gone mad!”
“If the Greens get into power…”, and there was a high probability of this, “…then we will practically be banned from driving!” And that had an effect above all in the former Eastern German states, which had experienced the lack of auto-mobility forced on them by real existing socialism and suddenly had the feeling that now the Green Party was coming along
and they want to take our cars away from us again. Naturally, that was a disaster. I experienced that. Martin Daum: But today you could find a broader coalition for it. That now would correspond to around 2 euros 50 per litre. Joschka Fischer: You have said a decisive sentence there:
forming a coalition, a social coalition. I am absolutely of the opinion that we may even need to take even more radical steps. Under the pressure of the circumstances. But that has to happen in a socially acceptable way in coalitions, and not just in political coalitions, not just the political will,
you also have to take people with you. Martin Daum: And you are supposed to stretch it over a longer period. If we say: we want to drive CO2-free by 2050. That means we must sell only CO2-free vehicles as of 2040. So that in 2050, we would have, over time,
slowly forced the vehicles consuming CO2 out of the market. For me that means 2040 is the key point. If you were to make a plan, that by 2040, the fuel price will gradually become more expensive, so that everyone can get used to the idea. The industry, in order to make an appropriate offer available. The citizen, in order to adapt their behaviour accordingly. The city, then I always hear the argument: “Then commuters are at a disadvantage”. Yes, then we need a better offer. I live in a village where the bus,
that is part of the Stuttgart network, stops one village before mine. If the fuel price were 50 cents higher, then the bus would no doubt drive one village further. Joschka Fischer: I think that the entire public transport system has to be re-thought. Creating an integral overall system is of key significance. Take Berlin for example. I mean, the foundations were laid there decades ago when the subway ring was built. That was a fantastic achievement. And Berlin has many deficits.
But where the local public transport system is concerned it is way ahead. And this is down to decisions and the courage and the foresight of people who are long, long dead. This is what I currently miss. And I also talk to lots of business leaders. I don’t have the impression that there is an innovative spirit like: We are going to tackle this now, we are going to create something now
which we will be praised for from the following generations. From my point of view, this is an exciting challenge. Martin Daum: Without this now being an excuse. I myself have witnessed this transformation. Today we have a group called Electric Mobility Group within Daimler Truck. This is a highly motivated team working together from Japan, the USA and Europe,
where we have put our best brains together, and they are achieving amazing things right now. Joschka Fischer: My impression is that in Beijing they are fully focussed on this global change, and they are forced to do so due to the air pollution in the major Chinese metropolitan areas and the permanent traffic jams. But they also bet on this as an instrument to overtake the West globally,
for reasons of political power, for competitive reasons. And that includes the USA. Martin Daum: Well, it is a matter of state there. I just wanted to explain that on the one hand, if I have this highly motivated team that works in projects. Which by the way was also a change in attitude for us. A full commitment to invest. On the other hand, it also means there is a high hurdle for us as managers. Even for me as a Board Member. I have spent a lot of my life working on feasibility studies. That means that if we invest 400 million, then I would always had to prove to my bosses that I can earn at least 500 or 600 million, and I mean in terms of exactly that margin. So not four billions, but for every investment it goes like this: “How much of this can you sell? At what prices? For what costs? Is this realistic? Or is this a pipe dream?” If I were to set up a study like this on electric mobility today, the result would be a minus. That is why a project like this was never possible ten years ago. Today with the change of awareness that we have to do something,
we do things that are economically absurd – but with the awareness that if we do not start today,
in a few years we will be in a pretty sorry state. Joschka Fischer: Left behind …. Martin Daum: Yes. Joschka Fischer: ….and that would have fatal consequences for Germany,
the automotive country number one. We must not forget that. That is what I meant before. On the one hand: the current and upcoming generation of managers
will still have to do their cost-benefit analysis. But at the same time we have the systematic change
that is bringing with it so many incalculable things. Not dealing with this change – I would deem extremely short-sighted and a fatal error. Because you would be giving away the future – as others would do it instead. Martin Daum: But what kind of answer do you suggest in response
when a well-known local politician says to me: “We would really like to buy your electric bus. It just has to be as cheap as a diesel, then we will order it.” Joschka Fischer: I would give them a proper talking-to. Martin Daum: And that is exactly what we did. Joschka Fischer: I mean … come on! That cannot be for real. Of course you ask yourself why there aren’t more electric buses on the roads in the city centres. Martin Daum: …because they are more expensive than a diesel bus. Joschka Fischer: … yes they are more expensive … Martin Daum: …and because the municipalities are also under a huge budget
and cost pressure. Joschka Fischer: They are. Completely agree. But you cannot call for the internalisation of external costs in warm words on a Sunday – i.e. the costs of environmental consumption and air pollution – only to swing back looking on costs only on workdays. Public transport companies are public transport companies, as important as the costs may be. But then you have to still invest. Not just from the point of view of “What is the cheapest offer?”,
but “What helps for the future”. I think that the citizens in a municipality – many would be really pleased if there were more electric buses. The question I have is: digitalisation has led to a huge increase in delivery transportation. Why did you leave it all to a professor from Aachen to deal with Deutsche Post. For as long as I can remember, Mercedes has been a major provider of transport vehicles. And why did you not wholeheartedly say “We will do it”? Martin Daum: Now I do not want to use this as a promotional opportunity. But you can still say that on the one hand we now have very impressive offers. You can always ask “Why wasn’t that the case before?” – which I explained earlier. There was always the issue of economics: the question of whether the investment was going to pay off was the primary driver, then there was radical change. For example now, Ola Källenius, our new Chairman of the Board of Management, goes out and says “Daimler will offer only CO2 neutral mobility in 2039” – and that is a serious commitment, not just greenwashing – “Daimler will offer only CO2 neutral mobility in 2039” and in the truck division I completely concur with him. Then I would say we already have very good offers, especially in the Sprinter sector. But there is also a major challenge: When we bring a vehicle to market,
then it has to have reached series maturity, that means with the highest quality. That means also achieving the durability that people expect from Daimler, and it must be possible to reproduce it unlimited times over in a highly efficient production operation. And this is quite a major challenge, which many start-ups
and newly founded companies also have trouble with. Just as we have to learn a lot in the electric sector, a lot of other companies also have a lot to learn where logistics and mass production are concerned. And this has taken its time. Joschka Fischer: Could I just ask a somewhat more general question: is an automotive company like Daimler, or indeed others in the commercial vehicle sector, not facing the problem of no longer being able to act as an automotive company in the traditional sense? For there is a double challenge: digitisation is playing an ever-greater role. Will you not be facing the transformation task – of no longer producing just hardware – but of becoming a technological company? Are you not coming under immense pressure from the American West Coast
or from Southern China? Martin Daum: I am less worried about this than the other challenge, if I can put it provocatively, of changing the type of drive system
and going for CO2 free mobility. Because we are already in the midst of the transformation. I still remember, when I started my job in the USA twelve years ago. Back then it was called the Mechatronics department, actually they just drew wiring harnesses. Today the unit deals with electronic infrastructure: how big is the computer? How do the computers communicate with one another? There are digital wires in there today, and no longer copper cables.
What is the transmission rate to the cloud? That then feeds data into the truck and out of the truck again; data for the customer. And the rest are software engineers who then write the corresponding applications. I think this is a transition that is already happening on a daily basis,
in particular in the commercial vehicle sector. I expect – and we already have this in prototype applications – that the entire communication between the dispatcher, carrier and the driver will take place via the screen in the vehicle. So that all goods, all documents etc. are fed into the vehicle via mobile communications, meaning that the driver always has it with them and does not have to carry around any other devices, no big folders or anything like that. I think we are already state-of-the-art, especially with respect to long-lasting technology – and that is always my issue when I think of Silicon Valley. An iPhone is a lovely thing, but place it on the front of your car,
drive through wind and weather and see how long it will last then. Our products have to last ten years and a million kilometres. If we combine this durability and reliability aspect with the agility of software – I am not worried. It is a challenge, but it is just one of many challenges, which we have to overcome. But I think, in fact, that this is easier than in the electronics industry. Where the big hurdle is that batteries are much more expensive
and that we are then dependent on the electrical revolution. Because I also always hear this as an argument.
“Yes, but batteries are just as dirty as diesel if the electricity is produced using coal”. Yes, but I cannot take up this responsibility – in this field,
the responsibility lies with politics. Responsibility that we relatively quickly get the entire energy generation process geared towards producing 100-percent CO2-free electricity. I can do my part, but on the other hand, other industries must also do theirs. Joschka Fischer: And can you tell me what digitalisation can do for
a more efficient transformation – particularly in terms of drive technologies? Martin Daum: First and foremost, it has an impacts on what we call freight efficiency. The fact that today, in Europe, there are still too many empty trucks on our roads; something which is not the case if you compare with North America, for example. One of my predictions is that freight and trucks will be separated
more and more from one another. In other words, we will have more semitrailers on the road than rigid trucks. The latter having to remain on-location at factories while being loaded or unloaded. Instead, the tractor will then continue to the next company premises
and pick up the next full trailer there for the return journey. Thus, we would have greater freight efficiency and also less traffic on the roads. It exists already today, but it needs to be expanded. It would probably correspond to a 10, 20 or 30 percent increase in efficiency. I can imagine some other things for more intelligent transport management, too – for example, why does a truck need to drive around Berlin or Stuttgart during rush hour? Why doesn’t the driver take their break there? Before then driving into the city at a lesser frequented time, thus also helping relieve traffic? I believe we need to put such traffic management elements in place. There are so many other possibilities, which I can imagine, whereby we could benefit from greater efficiency and which have a knock-on effect on CO2 emissions. If you look into the future, and in particular at the topic of climate protection,
would you say that scepticism or optimism prevails concerning the future of our world? Joschka Fischer: I think the pressure will become so big that human societies will need to act. And those who have the technical edge will also have the edge in business. That is what I’m counting on. But the pressure will be immense. And as I said at the beginning, it having a young generation which is aware about it is also a great chance for businesses which themselves are also dependent on the younger generation. Martin Daum: Whenever I take part in discussions to actively drive
forward this transformation – especially in terms of drive technologies – there is always one counter-argument: “If in Europe we are the only ones doing this, then we will be heading towards a situation where we will be economically at a disadvantage. And basically Europe will pay for that in the form of diminished prosperity.” It is an argument I very hear as a response quite often actually. Joschka Fischer: I mentioned China earlier. When it comes to digitalisation, they are much further ahead of us
with respect to applications in their day-to-day lives. And with regards to technology they are too – for example in terms of artificial intelligence etc., they have basically left us already behind. This is not an argument that can stand for long. Because a country like China is setting itself up to compete with the USA as a global super power of the 21st century and they are placing their bets on this transformation. I mean if we don’t do it, others will. Plus, we are small with our 82 million people – Already Europe, is a little bigger. But looking at the individual European nations, will not bring us much further any longer. You have to see the market as a whole. As a magnitude of 500 million people. But in relation to the big Asian economies, still relatively small. But not in terms of consumption per head and the pollution per head: in that regard we are up there– obviously with the USA well ahead of us,
but us Europeans we are also up there. That is a real argument. But, what concerns me most: firstly the question of preserving the environment. There is of course this thesis by serious scientists that we live in a geological age made by people – the so-called Anthropocene. The term Anthropocene is a name suggested for our new geological age. The name is derived from Ancient Greek: “Anthropos” meaning human,
and “cene” meaning time – Anthropocene thus means the age of the humans. The Nobel-prize-winning chemist Paul Crutzen already coined this term in the year 2000. According to his reasoning, human activities have had massive effects on our planet
since the dawn of industrialisation, such that a new age has started. Joschka Fischer: If that is the case, this will result in an incredible sense of urgency,
especially for the most-developed economies. And thankfully, we belong to those. To ensure that remains the case, we need to massively commit ourselves instead of just saying: “We’re losing our competitive edge”. I cannot think of a single country which is economically less developed
and which does not seek to protect the environment or climate, completely avoids innovation and that at the same time enjoys economic success.
The most economically successful places are the developed national economies. Martin Daum: Yes, that is indeed the case. There is still so much more to discover, to invent and to improve. When I think about CO2-free mobility, and if we don’t start doing something in that field today already, then we will not have the right knowledge tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. And it all needs time. There are always totally surprising problems which arise – and then, on the other hand there are surprising solutions and improvements to be found. We still have too much cobalt in batteries, for example.
But I can see a clear tendency towards significant… Joschka Fischer: This whole battery debate. It’s constantly evoked that batteries should be produced in Europe
so that we are independent in our e-mobility in the face of the Asian suppliers. I don’t understand this somewhat strategic blindness, to be honest. Here geopolitics is combined with the question of innovation
and above all environmental innovation. I mean, what are us Europeans still good at? When it comes to the big topics, we are still very strong in terms of the environment. So we would be well-advised to start stepping on the accelerator a little, to put it in automotive terms. Martin Daum: For me, there is still big area where I think we could create a sort of coalition between politics and economics. For me, that would be the way to go beyond battery technology.
For me, this is hydrogen technology. Hydrogen is the ideal matter. Thinking about photovoltaic energy, which is available in unlimited amounts in Morocco, Southern Algeria
and in the sub-tropical desert belt, and which can be generated very, very affordably for an estimated price of up to two cents per kilowatt-hour – but which I do not need there. Transporting the electricity to us is extremely difficult, but what if it it converted into hydrogen and that hydrogen is then brought over here – and then we create a sort of hydrogen economy to include everything
from energy creation and private energy use to use in trucks; I find that a highly interesting possibility which hasn’t currently kicked off because, because if we did have 100,000 trucks on our roads which needed to be supplied with hydrogen, we would have a hydrogen economy. But you need a hydrogen economy
in order to be able to sell hundreds of thousands of trucks. And for me, that is the classic chicken-and-egg dilemma.
China is already starting to think ahead in this point. Politics has the task of laying the “hydrogen economy” egg –
and industry then follows with the chicken, or in this case, the truck. Joschka Fischer: I think here, we need to look heavily toward Brussels. But such discussions, agreements and the resulting actions –
all of that has a determining role for the future. If we really want to be really serious about climate protection. Martin Daum: I think that is a good way to sum it up. And it is not about if we “want” to seriously protect the climate;
we “need” to take it seriously. And that is the clear message that I hear in your words. I think this awakening has, in the past years, already lead to a massive change in our thinking, both in our economy as well as in politics. It is about shifting from short-term gain to looking at how, in 2040,
I can still be leading a sustainable business? We in the automobile industry are tackling this challenge, but know very well that it is a challenge, without knowing exactly what the right solution is. But if we do not start today already, we will never arrive at a decisive solution. I also expect to see a framework in place, which supports this entire approach. But we also need awareness of the fact that, in the end, it will result in transportation and mobility which will be more expensive than is the case today. We cannot live in a sort of illusion that “nothing will change and everything will be better”. That is just as unlikely in terms of our personal health as it is for that of our planet. Joschka Fischer: I can only agree with you on that. Ecological change will not be free-of-charge. This challenge will not just apply to businesses but also to consumers. And we need a massive structural change which will take a good deal of time. Industrialisation and motorisation of the industrial society did not happen overnight – it was a long process. But we are under immense pressure to get things moving, particularly as a result of the unforeseeable consequences which our industrial and consumer society brings. This pressure to act will continue to grow. It results from the climate situation, from the environment
and also from the world’s growing population with all its many growing requirements. And this pressure to act will lead to competition in which the one who responds the best, the most quickly and the most efficiently will enjoy the market opportunities of the future. In this respect: I see no conflict between a reasonable,
long-term-thinking economy and the environment. Quite the opposite in fact – they mutually define one another in my opinion. And I hope that our discussion has helped contribute a little towards that. Martin Daum: Definitely.
I would like to say a big thank you to you, it was good fun. Thank you Mr Fischer! Take-aways: Martin Daum has gained some important insights
from his discussion with Joschka Fischer and we hope you did, too. Let us summarise a few important messages from the discussion: Firstly, electric trucks and buses are not just a technical challenge,
they are also an economical challenge. They are more expensive than diesel vehicles and will only be successful in the market if politics puts in place the appropriate framework. Secondly, for all those involved – from politicians, society and the economy – it must be clear that the transport transformation will not come free-of-charge. The switch to locally emissions-free drive systems will noticeably increase the cost of logistics. Thirdly, climate change does not just bring economical risks with it,
rather it also brings some important opportunities: the mega-trend of sustainability is the starting point for a new cycle of innovation and will allow new markets to emerge. And these should be used. That was “Transportation Matters”, our Daimler Trucks and Buses podcast. Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed it, please give us a like, recommend us to your friends or subscribe now. Every Wednesday of the month, we will publish a new episode here. The next episode will be released on 6 November in English with our guest Brad White, President Europe & Middle East at the Brighthouse business consultancy firm. In order to shorten the waiting time, you can listen to our colleagues from “Headlights”. In this Daimler podcast, employees from around the world explain what it is like to work for a global company such as Daimler and what is so unique about it.

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