Auto Special: Auto giant Mercedes committed to zero emission

09:48, April 02, 2010      

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Car manufacturers worldwide have come up with different solutions for energy efficient vehicles but German luxury brand Mercedes-Benz has come up with a three-step process to emission-free mobility by harnessing alternative energy technologies.

Over 120 years of development, Mercedes has not only established its position as an innovative leader in traditional auto technologies, but also as a pacesetter in new energy technology.

In its BlueEFFICIENCY strategy the company has optimized vehicles by using internal combustion engines, achieved greater efficiency through tailored hybridization, and emission-free driving with battery powered and fuel cell vehicles.

So, Mercedes has achieved practical development in technology, and created initiatives to address energy saving and emissions reduction. This represents a new trend for creating sustainable power in the future.

Christian Enderle, director of Passenger Car Development at Daimler AG, said that Despite great leaps in new energy development and utilization, the efficient internal combustion engine will still remain the driving force for the automobile in the longer term. Mercedes has witnessed ground-breaking achievements in this sector that other auto giants cannot compete with.

According to Joachim Schommers, director of Passenger Car Diesel Engine at Daimler AG, the BlueEFFICIENCY vision includes engine and aerodynamic optimization, reduction in rolling resistance, lightweight design, energy recuperation, and intelligent energy management, as well as a series of measures to effectively improve fuel efficiency, so that vehicles are able to reduce fuel consumption by up to 12 percent.

By the end of 2009, BlueEFFICIENCY technology had been applied in more than 60 models in Mercedes' lineup. In 2010, Mercedes will extend the number of efficient and clean cars to 85 models.

Last November, the E 200 CGI, E 260 CGI and E 260 CGI Coupe hit the Chinese market.

As part of the BlueEFFICIENCY strategy, Mercedes has developed a modular hybrid system to enhance the traditional internal combustion engine, in order to improve the productivity of the powertrain system. The system incorporates eco-friendliness, economy, safety, and comfort to create a new standard for the auto industry.

Last August, the S 400 HYBRID, the world's first series-production vehicle to feature a hybrid drive with a lithium-ion battery, was launched in China.

Lutz Regelmann, director of Product Management with Mercedes-Benz (China) Ltd, said that the S 400 HYBRID has won a high reputation among Chinese consumers. The lithium-ion battery offers high energy density, and power efficiency. Compared with the traditional nickel-metal hydride battery, the new lithium-ion battery can achieve a range three times greater with only half the weight, and its more compact design helps conserve space.

Moreover, the S 400 HYBRID offers a powerful performance but at the same time reduces fuel consumption to only 8 liters per 100 kilometers.

Developing automobiles with fuel cell and electric drive forms the third step of Mercedes' BlueEFFICIENCY strategy. Mercedes now offers the B-Class F-CELL, its first series-produced electric car with a fuel cell, and smart electric drive, which can achieve zero emission, highlighting Mercedes' leadership position in electric drive technology.

Although the development of fuel cell technology and infrastructure, such as charging stations, require further improvement, and it is unlikely that fuel cell cars and purely electric vehicles will become common modes of transportation in the near future, it is realistic to believe that new energy technologies will become completely independent of petroleum, and the future sky will become bluer for all to enjoy as a result.

"None of our competitors are as well-positioned as we are to fulfill customer requirements for individual and sustainable mobility," said Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.

"Since 2007, we have been systematically bringing the right technologies to market, from BlueTEC and CGI through to the S 400 HYBRID. At the same time we are pushing forward with the development of electric mobility."

Mercedes has never stopped striving for emission-free mobility. In addition to advocating automotive energy saving and new energy technologies worldwide, Mercedes also remains committed to introducing new vehicles to the Chinese market.

Looking forward, even more new products equipped with Mercedes' latest eco-friendly technologies will be introduced to the world's biggest market.

Last month, Mercedes' parent Daimler AG signed an agreement with Chinese battery and carmaker BYD Co to enter into a partnership focused on the development of electric vehicles for the Chinese market.

Source:China Daily


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