Mercedes are aiming to end the need for filling your fuel tank with petrol or diesel within just 7 years.
The German firm are determined to make their model range run on alternative fuels – to improve costs, become more eco-friendly and because the oil supply will eventually run out.
There are 50million jobs worldwide associated with the car and more than 80 per cent of goods are transported by road.
Mercedes are convinced that these two crucial areas of industry can be saved by making vehicles independent of crude oil – to improve costs, become more eco-friendly and because the oil supply will eventually run out.
The company have already spent £2million on their new long-term Sustainable Mobility plan and are set to invest a further £7billion before 2014.
This includes making current engines even cleaner and more fuel-efficient while increasing the amount of hybrids, emission-free electric cars and clean-fuel gas engines and the further development of battery and hydrogen-powered vehicles.
Mercedes will drip-feed different forms of more eco-friendly vehicles into our showrooms as and when the technology has been developed over the next decade – but the process begins towards the end of this year.
The new A and B-Class models which go on sale in October feature Start/Stop technology – the carís engine shuts down when itís stopped at a red light but automatically restarts when you lift your foot from the brake pedal.
Around town it can improve fuel efficiency by up to nine per cent.
Also out later this year are the Blue Efficiency A-Class 160 and C-Class models, which could reduce fuel consumption by a further 12 per cent.
Mercedes have also just announced that the Smart diesel will come to the UK for the first time in February 2009.
The new Smart Cdi will be the cleanest production car in the UK – emitting just 88g per kilometre of CO2.
The companyís next big step will be to launch a Smart electric car which is fuel and emission-free.
There are currently 100 Smart electric cars being given trials in London and they could be on the market as soon as 2010.
At the same time Mercedes hope to have their remarkable Diesotto engine available for their range.
Launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show last year, it will produce remarkable performance, yet will slash fuel consumption and emissions.
I was the first UK journalist to drive the Diesotto engine and ride in the sensational F700 concept – see below – in Seville last week.
Also on the horizon are zero-emission fuel cell cars – such as the F600 Hygenius which I also drove.
They use electricity and hydrogen for power and are set to go into a prototype B-Class in the coming months, slashing current fuel costs and eliminating emissions completely.
Professor Dr Herbert Kohler, responsible for Mercedesí advanced engineering, told me he believes that by 2015 motorists will have switched almost completely to alternative fuel cars, certainly in cities, to eliminate the need for petrol and diesel in urban areas.
Thatís great news.
Not so far in the future we will be charging our cars at night, not getting charged a fortune.
Source: The Sun