Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Mercedes to launch hybrid car in 2008

DaimlerChrysler has announced plans to launch a gasoline-electric hybrid for the 2008 model year. According to DaimlerChrysler Board Member Dr. Thomas Weber, the company will commercialize an S-class mild hybrid; further mild-hybrid models are in development for subsequent years. Mild hybrid engines, like the one in use in Honda's Accord hybrid, provide electric-powered assistance to the gasoline engine; full hybrids, like Toyota's Prius, alternate between their gasoline or electric motors depending on driving conditions.

Soaring fuel prices have led to a rise in sales of hybrid vehicles, which use a combination of petrol and electric propulsion which cuts consumption and emissions. Japanese automakers have stolen a march on competitors, launching several hybrid cars, most notably Toyota with its Prius.

A hybrid Mercedes S Class was presented at the recent Frankfurt car show, and the firm has previously said that it would be launched in the US and Japanese markets.


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