Mercedes-Benz is hoping to have a CO2-neutral vehicle fleet by 2039 and this of course entails a lot more than just launching electric cars.
Notwithstanding the controversies surrounding battery production, the German carmaker is aiming to source CO2-free steel from a new Swedish-based start-up called H2 Green Steel, which Mercedes has just bought into.
“With an equity stake in H2 Green Steel, Mercedes-Benz is sending an important signal to accelerate change in the steel industry and increase the availability of carbon-free steel,” said board of management member Markus Schäfer.
“As a first step, we are investing a single-digit million amount. As a preferred partner of the start-up, we will be launching green steel in various vehicle models as early as 2025,” Schäfer added.
But what exactly is ‘green steel’?
While the production of conventional steel via a traditional blast furnace results in emissions of more than two tonnes of CO2 per tonne of steel, the new process eliminates this carbon footprint by using hydrogen and renewably-sourced electricity instead of coal. According to Mercedes, the hydrogen acts as a “reduction gas” that releases and binds the oxygen from the iron ore.
Mercedes-Benz is also a member of the Responsible Steel initiative, which aims to ensure that steel production is sustainable and environmentally friendly across the entire value chain that goes into creating a car.
“Mercedes-Benz AG pursues the goal of a CO2-neutral new car fleet along the entire value and supply chain,” the company said in a statement.
“Suppliers representing more than 85 percent of Mercedes-Benz’s annual purchasing volume have already signed an Ambition Letter, agreeing to supply the company only with CO2 neutral products in the future.”