Six years after the Dieselgate diesel emissions scandal broke, German carmaker Mercedes-Benz has decided it was time to get serious about their commitment to cleaning the air. In July 2021, Mercedes’ parent company Daimler announced that it would be investing over €40 billion (or approximately £33.8 billion).
The carmaker hogged the spotlight after expressing their commitment to allot around $47 billion (about £38.9 billion) between the years 2022 and 2030. Their goal is to slowly transition to battery-operated vehicles by 2030 and become carbon neutral by 2039.
Daimler further said it would work with several partners in building eight battery plants. Starting in 2025, the company will manufacture only electric vehicles.
Ola Källenius, the carmaker’s CEO, promised they would stick to their plan that by the decade’s end; Daimler and Mercedes will be predominantly electric by then. By 2025, expenses for combustion engine technology should be zero or almost zero.
The carmaker, however, did not give any specific deadlines for when they would stop selling fossil-fuel vehicles. Mercedes did specify that their goal was to cut their CO2 emissions by half by the end of this decade.
To achieve their no-emissions goal, Mercedes plans to work on the following:
- Turn their vehicle fleet to electric
- Use green energy for charging
- Develop better battery technology
- Use renewable energy and recycled materials extensively
Mercedes also plans to focus on rolling out alternative power sources, specifically solar and wind, on their sites. The carmaker intends to keep working with partners and collaborate with other companies and governments.
The announcement was made after the EU came up with the proposal of prohibiting any sale of new diesel and petrol vehicles beginning in 2035. This will give the carmaker an opportunity to change to zero-emission electric vehicles earlier than expected, which is part of the program intended to fight global warming.
Other car manufacturers, such as Stellantis, also shared their plans to invest in electric vehicles. The Italian-American carmaker is expected to put in over €30 billion (or over £25.38 billion) by the year 2025.
Mercedes-Benz emissions scandal
The Mercedes emissions scandal is an offshoot of the Dieselgate scandal that initially involved Volkswagen. Authorities alleged that their diesel vehicles were equipped with defeat devices that were programmed to detect when a car is in testing. Once the device detects such activity, it caps the vehicle’s emissions levels so these stay within the limits set by the World Health Organization.
With the defeat device, the vehicle appears clean and safe. However, when it is taken out for a drive in real-world driving conditions, the vehicle emits voluminous amounts of nitrogen oxides – at levels that are over the regulatory limits set by the WHO and EU.
Nitrogen oxide is a group of gases that poses serious dangers to the environment as well as to human health.
Despite the allegations, paying fines and compensations, and recalling thousands upon thousands of affected vehicles, Mercedes-Benz and Daimler continue to deny that they went against emissions laws.
Over the years, other car manufacturers were also implicated in the diesel emissions scandal. Some of these carmakers include Renault, BMW, Alfa Romeo, Nissan, Citroën, and Jeep, among others.
The Dieselgate scandal is considered one of the biggest scams to ever happen to the automotive industry. It changed the public’s perception of diesel vehicles, which used to be regarded as the cleaner and more environmentally friendly alternative.
The diesel emissions scandal is also thought to be a significant reason why every country, especially the UK and Europe, is scrambling to achieve zero emissions in the fastest time possible.
Why are nitrogen oxides dangerous?
Aside from the fact that manufacturers like Mercedes lied and mis-sold the vehicles to their customers, the nitrogen oxide emissions that they release have life-changing health impacts.
Nitrogen oxide has NO or nitric oxide and NO2 or nitrogen dioxide. When it reacts with certain compounds or elements, it forms acid rain, smog, and ground-level ozone.
It can also affect a person’s mental health, triggering instances of anxiety and depression.
The most terrifying impacts of nitrogen oxide exposure, however, are on human health. Regardless of the volume of your exposure, NOx can have devastating effects on your health. Low-level exposure can cause headaches, corroded teeth, asthma or aggravated asthma, nausea and vomiting, and difficulty in breathing.
NOx exposure can also lead to emphysema and bronchitis.
If a person is regularly exposed to high levels of nitrogen oxide, the effects can be serious: laryngospasm, chronic lung problems/chronic reduction of lung function, asphyxiation, and increased risk for certain illnesses, particularly cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
In extremely serious cases, nitrogen oxide exposure can lead to premature death.
You need to file a Mercedes emissions claim
Nitrogen oxide emissions, aside from deceit and mis-selling, are the major reasons why you should file a Mercedes emissions claim against your carmaker. The claim will allow you to receive compensation from Mercedes-Benz for the financial inconvenience and environmental stress that the defeat devices have caused you. Work with a panel of emissions solicitors, such as the ones at ClaimExperts.co.uk. They can help you determine if you’re eligible for an emissions claim. Check to see if you can start a claim today.