It seems that everywhere you turn, at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, automakers are plugging in, and Mercedes-Benz is no exception. Not to be outdone, the German luxury manufacturer is rolling out an assortment of plug-in hybrids, battery cars, fuel-cell vehicles and other high-mileage/low-emissions products and concept vehicles for the biennial event.
That’s a sharp turnaround for Daimler AG’s flagship brand which, for many years, resisted the idea of electrifying its products, fearing it would become increasingly difficult to differentiate them from the offerings of more mainstream brands. But a combination of shifting consumer attitudes and tougher government regulations has Mercedes making an aggressive bid to become one of the industry’s leaders in the shift to green technology.
“The electrification of the powertrain is key” to maintaining personal mobility, declared Dieter Zetsche, who serves double-duty as Daimler CEO and Mercedes’ brand boss.