Mercedes is developing full hybrid technology, as well as a mild hybrid system that it is developing with BMW.
“Mercedes will market two different hybrid concepts – a mild hybrid and a full hybrid,” said Weber. The two concepts will go on sale at around the same time.
According to Automobilwoche, DaimlerChrysler is currently talking with several suppliers to decide which will be the company’s main partner for hybrid systems.
Weber expects mild hybrid technology to deliver fuel and CO2 savings of around 10%, while the full hybrid should achieve 20% or more.
The key issue is good marketing, said Weber. “We must not talk like engineers when we sell this,” he said. The benefits of the technology should be obvious and visible, he said. Weber cited the US example, where hybrid vehicles are currently viewed as ‘sexy’ and ‘in.’
Full hybrid technology is expected to be combined with Mercedes’ Bluetec Diesel technology. The combination of the two is currently extremely expensive, but Mercedes-Benz did show a diesel hybrid S-class concept in Tokyo two years ago.