Trevor Collett | May 17, 2016

Mercedes-Benz could follow German rival BMW down the path of creating a sub-brand for its more environmentally-friendly models.

BMW’s simply-titled ‘i’ division is now not only associated with its i3 and i8 models, but also future models (such as the i5) which will focus on all-electric and hybrid low-emission technology.

This is an idea that reportedly appeals to Mercedes-Benz's Head Of Sales And Marketing, Ola Källenius, who said Benz’s growing fleet of hybrid and electric models warranted its own sub-brand.

But Källenius would like to see Mercedes further expand its green range first.

“What we’re going to do in terms of the road to zero emissions is invest heavily in alternative drivelines and electrification,” Källenius said, speaking with the UK’s Autocar.

“That’s a very wide strategy, but it means that by the end of next year we will have 10 plug-in hybrid models, which, I think, is the widest portfolio of any luxury manufacturer.”

Mr Källenius said Mercedes would have three electric cars by the end of this year in the form of its B-Class and two Smart models. By the same time next year, a new hydrogen fuel-cell version of its GLC SUV will also be part of the range.

“We could choose for the purpose-made electric vehicles to create some sort of sub-brand but, right now, Mercedes is focused on investing tremendous resources into the path towards zero emissions - it’s something that will affect the whole portfolio,” Källenius said.

Mercedes already has something of an eco sub-brand with its range of ‘Bluetec’ models, which include frugal diesel and diesel-hybrid variants in Australia.

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