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Mercedes-Benz To Introduce Plug-In Hybrids And Electric Vehicles In India By 2018

The local arm of the German luxury car major Mercedes-Benz is on course to introducing models with alternative fuels, including plug-in hybrids and full-electric vehicles, by 2018 – full two years ahead of the Government of India’s plan to introduce stricter emission norms.

In March this year, the government had advanced by four years BS-VI implementation, skipping BS-V. The earlier roadmap under the Auto Fuel Policy was to roll out BS-V norms from April 2022 and BS-VI from April 2024.

“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,” Mercedes- Benz India MD and chief executive Roland Folger told in an interview.

Mercedes- Benz India Head – Roland Folger

“We already have one of the widest ranges of such models globally,” he added.

He said he expects BS-VI introduction to help his company due to the early bird advantage.

In order to achieve the desired objective, however, the industry needs the support of the government in speeding up the certification process as also getting higher quality fuel on time, Folger said.

“We have our cars ready but we need support and time from the government. We will be BS-VI compatible by 2018 itself,” he added.

Mercedes-Benz already has the largest range of plug-in hybrids globally and is also investing heavily into this technology. Recently, it announced 500 million euro investment into a second battery production plant at Kamenz in Germany.

In April 2010, its parent Daimler had picked up 10 per cent stake in Elon Musk promoted electric vehicle startup, Telsa Motors Inc.

Globally, Merc’s electric models include the Smart Fortwo Electric Drive, which has been on the market in its third generation since 2012. Its Smart Fortwo Coupe, Smart Fortwo Cabrio and the Smart Forfour Electric Drive have made their global debuts at the ongoing Paris Motor Show.

Its other electric models include B 250 e which has been in the US since 2014, and since 2015 in Europe.

Mercedes is also developing a multi-model electric vehicle architecture for battery-powered vehicles and the commercial launch is expected in some time, the company said, adding that globally it expects its electric mobility arm to be in the six-digit figures by 2020.