On The Cover Review: 2010 Mercedes Blue Zero Concept
The Mercedes Blue Zero concept runs on lithium-ion batteries that can be recharged on the fly by a small gasoline engine. If that sounds familiar, you may recall the Chevrolet Volt from last year’s NAIAS, which basically works the same. Heck, the way things are going, we might deplete the earth’s supply of lithium before we run out of oil! In all seriousness, we have seen a huge shift in the past couple of years from new cars designed for enthusiasts to cars built for the economy and the environment. We weren’t even seeing regular cars with “antiquated” technologies such as the much hyped E-85 capabilities this year. You couldn’t have the buzz without the electricity. Anyway, this Mercedes is supposed to run about 60 miles without using any gasoline, after which the 1.0-liter engine borrowed from the Smart car will kick in. Waxing philosophical for a moment, this endless parade of environ-mobiles is difficult for old-school car enthusiasts to get excited about. In today’s climate, they are crucial for survival of the auto industry, and maybe even the planet. It will be nice when the technology gets perfected so the focus can get back to making the actual vehicles interesting again.