Gallery: Mercedes to Kick Fossil Fuels by 2015!

 

Mercedes recently rolled out some extraordinary news, announcing that it intends to transition its entire lineup of luxury automobiles to alternative fuels by 2015. The development underscores an industry trend of major auto manufacturers pushing the alternative energy envelope, and we’re excited to see Mercedes mobilize its cache of high class-cred in such a dedicated step towards sustainable transportation.

Mercedes-Benz’ Sustainable Mobility program takes a tripartite approach towards an eco-friendly goal: “First, make the combustion engine as green as possible. Second, promote the development of high quality and alternative fuels. And finally, perfect the fuel cell for zero emission driving.”

The Sun reports that Mercedes plans to invest £7 billion into these technologies before 2014, and quotes advanced engineering head Dr. Herbert Kohle as stating that by 2015 motorists will have switched almost completely to alternative fuel cars.

Already Mercedes has taken steps towards developing the technologies necessary for a petroleum-free fleet of vehicles. New A and B class models feature a start-stop feature that cuts the engine while stopped at a red light for a 9% increased fuel efficiency rating, and they have announced a “BlueTec” smart diesel for the UK that boasts an 80% reduction in emissions.

In the future the company will focus upon developing hybrids, emission-free electric vehicles, and hydrogen fuel cell engines, beginning with a Smart electric car that is fuel and emission free.

+ Mercedes-Benz

Via The Sun and treehugger.com

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8 Comments

  1. Carbon tax July 7, 2008 at 5:13 pm

    Clean Burning,
    Embracing the limited resource of natural gas for private transportation is like burning a Picasso to heat your home.

  2. Jesseneale1 July 2, 2008 at 2:46 am

    Ok Sean valid point, yes urban environments have to be more suitable to avoid the use of private transport. Public transport also has to be seen as a better option for people, but for mercedes benz to state this with a date of 2015 is amazing and should not be dismissed so easily. It is an important step forward in developing a more sustainable society. To create a positive environment for major changes in infrastructure in all cities on the planet and major overhauls to many countries public transportation systems is a huge goal and would require decades possibly even an entire generational change of the people in power albeit entirely necessary. For mercedes benz to make this major step forward in such a short timeframe should be applauded and hopefully other car manufacturers follow suite. It is a one step forward towards a grander scheme.

  3. Clean_Burning July 2, 2008 at 2:20 am

    Not all Fossil Fuels are as dirty as coal or are as expensive as gasoline. Compressed Natural Gas or (CNG) would fall into that category. The Environmental Protection Agency calls it the cleanest burning of ALL currently available fuels. The Environmental Protection Agency’s very own fleet of trucks run on CNG.

    “Kicking fossil fuels,” isn’t the goal. The purpose of alternative fuels is to reduce harmful emissions and increase fuel efficiency. Vehicles powered by Natural Gas manage to do that while we waiting for 2015 to roll around.

  4. Scott72 July 1, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    I\’m totally with Sean on this one. \”People want cars for personal and private transportation\” — yes, and cities have paid a price for that. The kind of mobility that cars offer have allowed people to live in spread-out cities with decaying cores — cities that eat up farmland and keep people tied to cars for basic mobility. These electric cars may or may not be a victory for clean air, GHGs, and reduced dependence on oil, but as an environmentalist, I don\’t consider them a cause for enthusiastic celebration.

  5. Sean July 1, 2008 at 9:31 pm

    WBrooke,

    You make a coherent argument, but M-B, GM, and Tesla are not offering alternative fuel cars for supplemental driving from and around intelligently designed cities. They are offering a technological alternative to the need for intelligently designed cities.

    Our density in the US creates sales volume for auto makers. Increased density threatens their business model. All the early PR for cars such as M-B is promoting is designed to blunt the call for alternative transportation and better land use. In my humble, but somewhat informed, opinion, Inhabit and other outlets for sustainable living do the cause an injustice by highlighting automakers promised technological solutions to our problems.

  6. WBrooke July 1, 2008 at 5:10 pm

    To Sean,

    Intelligent urban design that eliminates the need of cars is a great goal, however I don’t think that even the most intelligently designed city will make people forget their desire for personal mobility. Even the sexiest bus is still a bus. People want cars for personal and private transportation, and if Mercedes or GM or Tesla or any other company says that they can make a personal vehicle that is fuel-free and emissions-free, then more power to them!

  7. elepski July 1, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    Sooo… do you think GM is beating their head against the wall now??… “Stupid me for killing the electric car\”

  8. Sean July 1, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    A big “who cares?” from me.

    The solution is not to develop cars that require less fuel, the trick is to develop sustainable environments that require less driving. The most fuel-efficient car is the one that\\\’s parked in the garage or, even better, the one that\\\’s not purchased because it\\\’s not necessary.

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