Martin Daum, the head of Daimler Trucks, expresses concerns about the overwhelming Chinese dominance in the battery market, with approximately 80% control over patents, preliminary products, and materials.
Martin Daum, the CEO of Daimler Trucks, raises alarm over the significant influence China holds in the field of battery technology. In an interview with the German Press Agency, Daum emphasizes the extensive reliance on China, stating, “There is an extremely high dependency on China. Chinese companies already possess the patents, preliminary products, and raw materials.” China currently commands an 80% share of the global market. Daum expresses concern about such heavy reliance on a single country, considering it a challenging situation.
According to Daum, “We will definitely establish our own battery production in collaboration with partners, albeit with a slight delay compared to the car companies.” He highlights the challenges involved in such collaborations, as Chinese patents are often involved, and even if they decide to produce the batteries internally, the necessary preliminary products are still lacking.
Import of hydrogen to spread dependency
Daum suggests reducing reliance on batteries by promoting a broader dependence on imported hydrogen as an energy source. He argues that achieving complete energy self-sufficiency is unrealistic, as Germany has historically imported a significant portion of its energy needs.
Daum asserts that this situation should remain unchanged, especially with the transition to green energy. He emphasizes that hydrogen can be sourced from multiple channels, offering a diverse range of options. By embracing hydrogen as an energy solution, Daum believes that both technological advancements and energy production can be achieved without being dependent on a single country.
Daimler Truck plans to introduce production vehicles with hydrogen-based fuel cell drivetrains in the latter half of this decade. These electric trucks will utilize batteries primarily as buffer storage, resulting in smaller battery sizes compared to traditional electric vehicles. This approach allows for the efficient utilization of hydrogen fuel cell technology in powering the trucks.