Internal Combusion Engine’s Days Are Numbered Says Mercedes CEO

Internal Combusion Engine’s Days Are Numbered Says Mercedes CEO
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The future of green motoring is far closer than you might think. At least it is if you’re a believe of Mercedes-Benz CEO Dieter Zetsche.

In a recent interview with Motor Trend, the former TV personality for Chrysler (when under Daimler’s ownership) Dr. Z says that, “We see another one or two decades of dominance for the internal combustion engine.” Yup, that’s it.

The timeline is a bit shocking, although not completely off-base with predictions from other automakers, with Hyundai Motor America CEO John Krafic previously commenting that he expects the automaker’s fleet to be 15-20 percent hybrids by 2015, with 5 percent of all models fully electric or fuel cell.

Still, Zetsche warns, “Nobody will make money in the next five years with alternative powertrains.” That’s a comment Toyota might disagree with, however, being the only automaker to have success at selling hybrids en masse.

At the recent Frankfurt Auto Show, Mercedes unveiled its F125 concept, a vehicle that celebrates 125 years since Mercedes invented the car, while pointing the way to the brand’s future. a hydrogen fuel cell powered car, the F125 features an electric motor at each wheel and makes 231-hp to deliver a 0-60 time of 4.9 seconds, with a range of 620 miles.

The mass-production of green-technology alternative powertrains depends a great deal on China, says the Benz boss, commenting that the country is making a push in the electric car industry as it sees limited oil supplies as unable to support future growth of the car market in the country. It’s all a question of timing says Zetsche, admitting that perhaps his projections are a bit optimistic and commenting that while EV car development and infrastrucutre growth has been slower in China than initially expected. Still, MB has faith in China’s green car goals, due mostly to the fact that it doesn’t have much other choice. Necessity is the mother of invention, or so the saying goes.

GALLERY: Mercedes F125 Concept

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[Source: MotorTrend]