In the service of the environment: Alternative drive systems in commercial vehicles of Daimler AG


Stuttgart, Germany, Jul 16, 2008

  • More than 100 years of experience with electric and hybrid drives
  • Pioneer of diesel-electric drive, natural gas and hydrogen
  • New transportation and drive systems: From vision to practical testing
  • Most comprehensive practical trials to date with fuel-cell-powered buses
Natural gas, hybrid drive, fuel cell: although the diesel engine is getting increasingly cleaner, declining petroleum supplies, growing environmental awareness, and the already perceptible effects of global warming give more cause than ever to pursue alternative drive concepts. Daimler AG has experience in this field which no other company can match.

The forerunners: Gas, steam and electricity

Alternative to gasoline and diesel engines have existed since the early days of the automotive era. Long before Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz invented the gasoline-powered automobile in 1886, steamers traveled the roads of England. Jean Joseph Étienne Lenoir developed a road vehicle with gas engine in 1863, which Nikolaus August Otto took as model when he invented the patented high-speed four-stroke gasoline engine in 1876. In 1882, in Berlin-Halensee, Siemens presented the Elektromote, the world’s first trolleybus.
Admittedly, in earlier times the motives often were anything but concern for a clean environment, as in the case of the wood carburetors of the 1930s. However, the past experience was the basis from which the search for environment-friendly drive systems had to start towards the end of the 1960s.

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