The new EQE: sustainability

Sep 5, 2021
Stuttgart

Mercedes-Benz is setting the course for an all-electric future: by the end of the decade, the brand with the star will be ready to go fully electric - wherever market conditions permit. With this strategic step from "Electric first" to "Electric only", Mercedes-Benz is accelerating its transformation into an emission-free and software-driven future. In many areas, Mercedes is already thinking about tomorrow today: the new EQE is designed to be correspondingly sustainable. Resource-saving materials such as secondary steel are also used. Mercedes-Benz looks at the entire value chain, from development and the supplier network to its own production. Mercedes-Benz AG has had its climate protection targets confirmed by the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTI). With these goals, the company supports the Paris Climate Accord.

Nine important building blocks of the transformation towards sustainable mobility.

  1. Electrified product portfolio

By 2022, Mercedes-Benz will offer battery electric vehicles (BEVs) in all segments in which the brand is represented. From 2025, all new vehicle architectures will be exclusively electric, and customers will be able to choose a fully electric alternative to each model. The company is significantly accelerating investments in research and development. Between 2022 and 2030, a total of more than 40 billion euros has been earmarked for investments in battery-electric vehicles. The faster expansion of the range of impressive electric vehicles will lead to a faster breakthrough of electromobility. In 2025, Mercedes-Benz will introduce three all-electric architectures: MB.EA, AMG.EA and VAN.EA.

  1. Transparent dialogue

Since 2005, Mercedes-Benz has been the first automotive company to subject its vehicles to the strict requirements of an environmental certificate in accordance with ISO guideline TR 14062. The TÜV-certified documentation is based on a comprehensive life-cycle assessment of the respective vehicle, in which every environmentally relevant detail is documented. The Group's sustainability report has provided detailed information on this topic every year since 2006. And the Daimler Sustainability Dialogue has been bringing together sustainability experts from various fields with Daimler representatives every year since 2008. Current and future sustainability issues are discussed in workshops, progress as well as deficits and risks are evaluated, and resulting needs for action are defined. In November 2020, the Daimler Sustainability Dialogue brought together over 200 representatives from business, science, politics, NGOs, associations, trade unions and local authorities in the digital space.

  1. Carbon-neutral production

Mercedes-Benz is working flat out to prepare its global production network for the manufacture of fully electric vehicles. Starting next year, eight Mercedes-Benz electric vehicles will roll off the production lines at seven locations on three continents. By 2022, all passenger car and battery assembly plants operated by Mercedes-Benz AG will be converted to climate-neutral production. This also includes EQE production at the Bremen plant. To achieve climate-neutral production, the first step is to consistently reduce and, where possible, completely avoid emissions that are generated in Mercedes-Benz vehicle production and in the energy supply of the plants. The company relies on three strategic pillars for doing so: continuous increase in energy efficiency, use of green power and realisation of a sustainable heat supply. Starting in 2022, all own production plants of Mercedes-Benz AG around the world will obtain electricity exclusively from renewable sources. In addition, concrete CO2 measures are agreed with suppliers. Logistics are an essential part of this supply network: at the beginning of 2020, rail transport in Mercedes-Benz transport logistics was converted to a carbon-free energy supply in cooperation with Deutsche Bahn.

  1. Sustainable battery production

Local battery production is a major success factor in the strategic electric initiative of Mercedes-Benz AG – and a crucial element when it comes to being able to flexibly and efficiently serve the global demand for electric vehicles. Production plays a decisive role in Mercedes-Benz AG's understanding of sustainability. For example, the Mercedes-Benz Hedelfingen plant will ensure carbon-neutral production of battery systems as of 2022. In addition, Mercedes-Benz has agreed to purchase CO2-neutrally manufactured battery cells as part of strategic partnerships, starting with the EQS and followed by the EQE.

  1. Decarbonisation of the supplier network

The EQE is one of the first vehicles with bodyshell components of 100 percent recycled steel from Salzgitter AG. This already reduces CO2 emissions for the semi-finished product by more than 60 percent. In general, the supplier network provides a considerable part of the value creation and is thus of crucial importance for the decarbonisation goals. The majority of the suppliers accounting for around 90 percent of the annual procurement volume have already signed an Ambition Letter confirming their agreement to supply only parts from CO2-neutral production in the future. From 2039 at the latest, only production materials which have been produced on a carbon-neutral basis in all value creation stages will be allowed through the plant gates of Mercedes-Benz. A supplier declining to sign the Ambition Letter will not be eligible for new supply contracts.

  1. Raw materials from certified mining

Mercedes-Benz looks at the entire value chain, from development and the supplier network to its own production. Responsibly mined and processed raw materials provide the foundation for a sustainable Mercedes-Benz electric vehicle fleet. Mercedes-Benz has therefore had the complex supply chains of battery cell suppliers audited in accordance with OECD standards and will in future only purchase battery cells with cobalt and lithium from certified mining. In addition, Mercedes-Benz is making the "Standard for Responsible Mining" in the "Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance" (IRMA) a key criterion for supplier decisions and contracts in raw material supply chains and will only work with suppliers who agree to these requirements.

  1. Resource-conserving materials

EQE components with a total weight of more than 75 kg are made partly from resource-saving materials (recyclates and renewable raw materials). These include cable ducts made from recycled plastics, for example.

  1. Green power for on the move

With Mercedes me Charge, customers always charge green at every public charging station throughout Europe as of 2021. It is ensured that for charged energy quantities corresponding amounts of green electricity are fed into the grid after the actual charging process and, in addition, incentives are created to invest in renewable energy plants. There is no basic fee for Mercedes me Charge for the first three years after the purchase of an EQE.

  1. Sustainable battery use

Mercedes-Benz takes a holistic approach to the battery life cycle: Re-Use, Remanufacture, Recycle. Once the traction batteries of the Mercedes-EQ fleet reach the end of their life on the road, it's far from over. Mercedes-Benz Energy, based in Kamenz, is a subsidiary of Mercedes-Benz AG responsible for the development of innovative energy storage solutions. By building stationary energy storage systems, electric car batteries can be connected to the grid. The spectrum for large-scale storage applications from Mercedes-Benz Energy ranges from peak load balancing and black start (power plant start-up independent of the power grid) to uninterruptible power supply (UPS). The company's focus is in particular on applications from the 2nd-life and replacement parts storage unit sector. Only then is it time for material recycling. 

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