Mercedes to Cut Petrol-Powered Models by 2015
Ambitious. Mercedes-Benz is aiming to remove petroleum-powered vehicles from its lineup by 2015, with a consumer biofuel-powered vehicle available by 2010. meanwhile, the bling-heavy company is testing a series of all-electric Smart cars in London as we speak. The Smart is the ideal candidate for the electro-treatment, since it's light, small, and not marketed as a performance vehicle, unless certain after-market mods are made.
The German car company has a few new power-trains in the line-up that European journalists have had the opportunity to test out in the Mercedes facility in Spain. One vehicle includes the F700, powered by a DiesOtto engine that combines HCCI and spark ignition to get nearly the same efficiency as diesel, but minus the expensive after-treatment systems.
The engine can run on biofuels, and we may have a purchasable vehicle by 2010 -- a year that seems to be popular for the debut of a lot of new alternative fuel car models, making ’08 and ’09 simply thumb-twiddling years for consumers. I don’t know, maybe car makers just like the roundness of “2010.” The company’s next big step will be to launch a Smart electric car which is fuel and emission-free.
Anyway, Mercedes is looking into electric vehicles, both battery-powered and fuel-cell powered. Not only are models in development, but we’ve also seen the company making steps towards its zero-petroleum goal right now, from better cabs in London to li-ion battery improvements. The company also has about 100 Smart electric cars undergoing testing in London, with that favorite 2010 year as the projected market release date.