In the next seven years, Mercedes-Benz wants to eliminate petroleum-powered vehicles from its lineup. According to AutoblogGreen, “The German giant is working on a variety of technologies that will help provide crude oil free transport such as battery electrics, fuel cells and highly efficient internal combustion engines that can operate on biofuels.”
The automaker already has two new powertrains in either the concept or trial stages of development. The concept F700, which debuted in Frankfurt in fall 2007, is powered by a DiesOtto engine that combines Homogenous Charge Compression Ignition with spark ignition to get nearly the same efficiency as a diesel engine. According to the EcoGeek post, “The engine can run on biofuels, and we may have a purchasable vehicle by 2010.”
Last week, Phil Lanning of the Sun (U.K.) gleefully reviewed the F700 on the track in Seville, Spain.
Of more interest to auto consumers on the left side of the pond: Mercedes also intends to offer an electric Smart ForTwo. Currently, one hundred of these adorable multi-colored vehicles scampering around London are already electric (and getting free parking — but not for long!). Yet the official market release will not occur until 2010. Mercedes intends to offer an electric version of another model but has been tight-lipped about which one. Rumors, however, abound.