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Daimler Truck CEO says cost of electric trucks will “forever be higher”

Julian Buckley, New Power Progress

March 28, 2022

The head of Daimler Truck has said that electric trucks would “forever be higher” than those using combustion engines, according to a report in the Financial Times.

CEO Martin Daum told the newspaper that governments needed to help make up the difference in the cost of extra materials used in battery-powered vehicles.

“Without any subsidies, the price of an electric [vehicle] will always, forever be higher than a combustion engine,” said Daum.

The comments came as the war in Ukraine has added to rising raw material costs. In addition, the war has caused still further disruption to the supply of raw materials and some components. The cost of this disruption will eventually affect the price of vehicles, including electrics.

The comments come as market interest in battery-electric trucks is lagging behind that of BE passenger cars, largely due to the proportional cost increase when compared to internal combustion models.

Daimler Truck recently started series production of the electric eActros. According to Daum, it costs three times as much to produce an eActros than an internal combustion equivalent.

It was reported that 1 kWh battery capacity would need to reach $60 before parity could be achieved between internal combustion and battery trucks. Costs are currently about $135/kWh.

Subsidies could be supported by taxing companies for operating diesel vehicles.

According to reports, Daum also said that he welcomed new agreement between German authorities and Qatar covering supply of hydrogen and LNG, but he criticised authorities for blocking a venture between Daimler, Volvo and Traton to build a network of truck charging stations.

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