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.
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.
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."
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.