In less than 7 years, Mercedes-Benz plans to ditch petroleum-powered vehicles from its lineup. Focusing on electric, fuel cell, and biofuels, the company is revving up research in alternative fuel sources and efficiency. Mercedes is looking into electric vehicles, both battery powered and fuel cell powered. Not only are models in development, but we’ve also seen the company making steps towards their zero petroleum goal right now, from better cabs in London to Li-Ion battery improvements. Commercialy available zero petroleum vehicles will be available starting in 2010.
While this is an impressive announcement, I'll wait until I hear more details before I get downright giddy. I do think we're starting to see a fundemental change in the attitudes of the automakers as a whole. We are starting to see degrees of seperation between the auto industry and big oil. It would appear that a huge lobbying war in Washington is underway as the two industries jockey to get favorable legislation. In one sense, we live in exciting times where the business landscape is changing, but the other side of that is the slow and agonizing process of change, inhibited by the unwillingness of old businesses to sucumb to the new ones. In the end, nothing much will really change. It's just a re-shuffling of wealth and power at the top of the food chain that has no financial benefit for the average person.
EcoGeek - Technology for the Environment