Mercedes Benz is planning to eliminate all petrol and diesel-powered models within its model line up by 2015, replacing them all with a new range of alternative fuel cars.
The overall goal of Mercedes's plan is to lower the costs involved in road transport, to reduce harmful emissions and to lessen our dependence on the rapidly diminishing resource that is crude oil. Mercedes will gradually wean its customers off oil over the next few years by first boosting the efficiency of existing petrol motors, then increasing the amount of hybrid, battery and clean-fuel vehicles on offer and then finally introducing a full range of hydrogen and battery electric cars by the target date of 2015.
Mercedes is treating its Sustainable Mobility plan very seriously, and has already allocated AUD$4.1 million to the project with another $14.5 billion to be spent before 2014. The new A and B Class models that will be launched in Europe in October will feature start/stop engine technology, which cuts fuel consumption during commutes by switching the engine off when the vehicle is at a standstill - a move that can increase fuel economy by up to 9 per cent during urban driving. Cleaner diesels are also on the way soon, and 100 electric Smart cars are currently undergoing trials in London.
It's a noble effort by the German manufacturer, and one that we'd like to see replicated by other automakers around the world. By cleaning up the fuels our cars run on not only should we be able to breathe easier, but we should also no longer be held at the mercy of fluctuating oil prices and the robber-barons that are the oil companies of today.