Hybrid seems to be the way forward for premium manufacturers in the wake of the VW Dieselgate scandal. US regulations are only bound to get tougher which makes further developments of diesel technology less likely to happen.
In fact, sources close to the manufacturer are quoted saying Mercedes is even going as far as considering to drop future diesel versions of its models altogether. According to Autoblog, the void left in the line-up by the disappearance of diesels will quickly be filled with the closest option on hand, hybrids.
Looking at Mercedes’ recent efforts in the conceptual area you’d probably have already noticed the think tank in Stuttgart is clearly favoring clean propulsion systems, betting full house on fully-electric or plug-in hybrids cars.
The reason is simple. Further advancements on the diesel front are hard to make with the technology reaching its technological peak for quite some time now. Better torque and mpg figures is not everything today. Emissions are just as important and making diesel engined cars cleaner and cleaner every year actually makes them more expensive to build and service.
An eco diesel employs numerous means in order to reduce the CO2 and specific residues freed into the atmosphere. Fancy additives like AdBlue and particulate filters are taking the production bill higher than desired for manufacturers, even for premium ones. Especially compared to cleaner and less complex petrol applications.
This makes hybrid technology actually less expensive, especially on the long therm, as the costs associated with battery technology are only expected to go downwards. Consumption advantages inherent to diesel cars also get slimmer with each passing day, so similar mpg figures achieved by hybrids are not a questions of if, but when. In light of all this, Mercedes’ bet on hybrid technology is actually a brighter prospect than we first thought.