Mercedes-Benz Board Member Discusses Future Of Plug-In Hybrids & Non Plug-In Hybrids
Mercedes-Benz is now on a mission to launch a whole lineup of plug-in hybrid cars, and the automaker shows little love for non plug-in hybrids.
Does this mean that conventional hybrids don’t have a future?
According to professor Thomas Weber, a Mercedes board member and head of research and development, consumers prefers plug-in hybrids, but as all-electric range grows, maybe a gap will appear that will allow M-B to resurrect conventional hybrids again around 2020.
“Do we need [non plug-in hybrids]? I don’t think so,” he said. “Because on high-tech diesels the fuel economy numbers are so low that if a customer decides to take another step I think the plug-in is the best solution.”
Mercedes currently offers non plug-in hybrids on models like the C-Class and S-Class, but the issue remains that non plug-in hybrids don’t offer a long enough range on electricity alone.
“In the past we had, not mild hybrids, but small plug-ins, and the missing part is the electrified driving distance,” said Weber.
However, he said that as the electric range of plug-ins increases, non plug-in hybrids could return, adding another option to sit next to the conventional diesel and petrol engines.
“Coming closer to 2020 I believe there is of course an opportunity. Between plug-in, with its more and more extended electric driving range, there is a gap where we can come back to these hybrid solutions in, for example, the A-Class.”
Well, five years from now we would rather like to see more all-electric Mercedes-Benz vehicles with decent range over straight hybrids. Wouldn’t you?