Today’s automobiles are caught in a situation marked by ever-increasing, more and more varied, and in some cases conflicting requirements. Customers want safe, comfortable, and powerful vehicles that are also extremely efficient and environmentally friendly.

The central challenge is to make motor vehicles even more efficient and cleaner without compromising safety or comfort. In order to make possible sustainable mobility with great variety at a high level, Mercedes-Benz is consciously taking a multilane route to ever more environmentally friendly and eventually zero-emission vehicles:

– Lane one involves optimized vehicles equipped with high-tech internal combustion engines
– Lane two features hybrid drives in various output ratings
– Lane three comprises electric vehicles with batteries or fuel cells

Mercedes-Benz has taken the entire spectrum of innovative technologies and vehicles that enable especially clean and efficient mobility and brought them together under the name BlueEFFICIENCY. At the same time, BlueEFFICIENCY also designates an intelligent package of measures, custom-designed for each vehicle type, that exploit all of the possibilities in and on the vehicle.

These possibilities include lightweight construction and aerodynamic optimization as well as the central key to more efficiency and environmental compatibility — the electrification of the vehicle and its drive, from ancillary components to the ECO start/stop function. Mercedes-Benz is consistently rolling out BlueEFFICIENCY in all model series — from the A-Class to the S-Class — and it will be available in 85 models by the end of 2010. The new CLS is a good example; here, the combination of innovative direct injection gasoline engines (BlueDIRECT) with the standard ECO start/stop function and other BlueEFFICIENCY measures ensures that fuel consumption is up to 25 percent lower than for previous models.

Powerful lithium-ion batteries
Daimler is working with its partners on the development of state-of-the-art lithium-ion batteries. This work forms the basis of made-to-measure solutions for Daimler’s unique product portfolio, which covers all mobility requirements. Daimler benefits here from the expertise it has accumulated through many years of research work. Indeed, the company has filed more than 600 patents to date for battery-powered vehicles — and more than 230 of these involve lithium-ion technology. Targeted cooperation with capable partners ensures that the battery systems optimally meet all vehicle and application-specific requirements. Daimler now has its own battery manufacturing capacity for state-of-the-art lithium-ion batteries at Deutsche Accumotive. These batteries can be produced to conform to any type of hybrid or electric drive system, whether for passenger cars or commercial vehicles.

Source: Daimler AG