Zetsche explains that since carmakers will soon be required by law to improve the cleanliness of their fleets, customers will be less willing to pay extra for fuel-saving technology. The premium they’re likely to pay for an alternative powertrain will depend heavily on how much they can save in fuel bills and not what the carmaker demands, reports the WSJ.
Mercedes-Benz has a number of promising technologies in the works. Last month the carmaker confirmed a fuel-cell model will be delivered by 2010 and revealed images of the car currently undergoing testing, and before that it took the covers off several ultra-efficient diesel-hybrid concepts as well as its new Diesotto – a new type of engine that combines features of both diesel and petrol powerplants.
Another area where Mercedes plans to lead the market is with the release of a hybrid vehicle powered by a lithium-ion battery. Zetsche revealed the S-class Bluetec hybrid is still two years off but that it can still beat its rivals to the market. As for the extra cost of manufacturing the advanced powertrain, Zetsche explains that the cost will be partly offset by savings made in the rest of the car.