Mercedes Benz is on the way to introducing models which will use alternative fuels – including plug-in hybrids and fully electric vehicles – by 2018, a full two years before the Indian Government’s plan to enforce stricter emission norms.
Earlier in March this year, the government advanced the implementation of BS-VI (Bharat Stage Emission Standards) by four years, skipping BS-V. It was initially planned under the Auto Fuel Policy that BS-V norms would roll out from 2022 and BS-VI from April 2024.
Mercedes-Benz India MD and Chief Executive Roland Folger said, "We can easily meet the BS-VI requirements. All we need is 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."
He added that the BS-VI introduction helps his company due the early bird advantage as Mercedes already has a wide range of such models globally. However, Folger did add that the company would need the support of the government in speeding up the certificate process and also with getting higher quality fuel on time.
Mercedes-Benz has the largest range of plug-in hybrids in the world and investing heavily in this tech. It’s parent, Daimler, also picked up a 10 per cent stake in Elon Musk’sTesla Motors Inc. in April 2010.
Mercedes-Benz’ electric models include the Smart Fortwo Electric Drive which is now in its third generation. The Smart Fortwo Coupe, Cabrio, and Electric Drive have all made their debuts at the Paris Motor Show. Its other model includes the B 250 e, which has been in the States since 2014, and Europe since 2015.
Mercedes is currently working on a multi-model electric vehicle architecture for battery powered vehicles. It’s expected to launch soon according to the company. The company also added that they expect its electric mobility arm to by in six-digit figures by 2020.