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Mercedes hybrids, full electric models to hit India by 2018

04 October 2016

The Indian arm of German luxury car major Mercedes-Benz says it is on course to introduce models with alternative fuels, including plug-in hybrids and fully electric vehicles, by 2018 a full two years ahead of the government'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 managing director and chief executive Roland Folger told PTI in an interview.

"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 objective, however, the industry needs the support of the government in speeding up the certification process and 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 in 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 Telsa Motors Inc.

Globally, Mercedes' 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 debut at the ongoing Paris Motor Show.

Its other electric models include the 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 six-digit figures by 2020.

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