The automotive industry may be in financial tatters at least in the US, but progress marches on, and the future of cars is going to be alternative fuels, for oil-shortage and environmental reasons. Mercedes-Benz knows this, so it's showing its new BlueZERO cars, featuring three completely different alternative-powered engine options.
The greenest option may be the all-electric E-CELL version, which could incorporate Tesla batteries. It'll run 120 miles on a single charge, enough for several short commutes to work and back. But if you want to drive further there's the F-CELL engine—that's hydrogen-powered, and gives the car a 248-mile range. The hybrid engined E-CELL PLUS can go for 370 miles, but that's because the electric engine gets a boost from a small built-in gasoline-powered motor. Still contributing to pollution, but obviously way less than your average gas-guzzler.
All three options will come in the same vehicle shell, saving Mercedes (and thus the consumer, one would hope) plenty of design money. The BlueZERO cars will debut in 2010.