In Mumbai, India the local representative for German luxury automobiles, mainly Mercedes-Benz, announced that they are on a good course to implement vehicles with alternative fuels. This includes plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles, by 2018 almost two years ahead of government plans to bring stricter emission norms.
In March of this year, the government advanced the implementation of BS-VI by four years and thus skipping the BS-V rule application. The plan of Auto Fuel policy before this was to implement BS-V from April 2023 and BS-VI from April 2024. Mercedes-Benz India MD and chief executive Roland Folger stated for PTI “We can easily meet the BS-VI requirements. All we need is around a year to make the changes. And we can bring in models with alternative drive trains including plug-in hybrids and full electric vehicles from our global portfolio” and added that “We already have one of the widest ranges of such models globally.”
Folger also said that this “early bird” project would benefit their company a lot, but they also need the help of the government in speeding up the process of certification and supplying higher quality fuel on time. As you know Mercedes-Benz invests heavily into these new technologies, the proof of that is the recent 500 million euro investment in a second battery production plant at Kamenz in Germany, and they also have the largest fleet of plug-in hybrids on the global market, so this doesn’t come as a surprise.
In their lineup, the biggest piece of the pie is reserved for the Smart Fortwo Electric Drive (it’s already in its third generation), while their new Smart Fortwo Coupe, Smart Fortwo Cabrio, and the Smart Forfour Electric Drive made their debuts at this years, still ongoing, Paris Motor Show. But wait this is not all from Mercedes, it also has the B 250 e which has been available in the US since 2014 and came to Europe a year later. Mercedes never stops, now the news are that they are working on the development of a multi-model electric vehicle architecture for battery-powered vehicles and the commercial launch is expected in some time, possibly by 2023.