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Mercedes-Benz says all its vehicles will be carbon-neutral by 2039

By Ed Adamczyk
Mercedes-Benz says all its vehicles will be carbon-neutral by 2039
An all-electric Mercedes-Benz EQC is seen at Paris Motor Show in Paris, France, on October 2, 2018. File Photo by David Silpa/UPI | License Photo

May 13 (UPI) -- German automaker Mercedes-Benz said Monday all its vehicles will be carbon-neutral within 20 years -- part of a plan to reduce its carbon footprint.

The company announced its "Ambition 2039" plan, which includes a goal that burned carbon-based fuels, from vehicles and manufacturing, will not increase carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. It gives a deadline two decades ahead of European Union requirements. Volkswagen, by comparison, said in February its cars will be carbon-neutral by 2050.

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Mercedes-Benz added that by 2030, 50 percent of its vehicles will be electric or plug-in hybrid models.

"Let's be clear what this means for us: a fundamental transformation of our company within less than three product cycles," Mercedes-Benz wrote in a blog post.

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The company's manufacturing facilities will be the start of the effort, the statement said.

"Our Factory 56 is the blueprint: This new addition to our Sindelfingen [Germany] plant uses renewable energy and will be CO2-neutral from the start. Next, all of our European plants will follow by 2022. Our new production site in Jawor, Poland, shows how sustainability and cost efficiency go together: Not only does wind power make production greener, it also makes it more economical at this site than possible with conventional power."

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The automaker said it will also work with parts suppliers to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, adapt more environmentally-friendly buses and trucks and increase development of hydrogen-powered vehicles. It also set a goal to recycle up to 85 percent of a car's parts by 2039.

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If successful, the effort could be a breakthrough in vehicle design and manufacture. On Monday, Mercedes-Benz also unveiled the first vehicle in its new EQC line of electric cars.

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