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The Internet has shrunk the world in terms of the way people communicate by making it possible to send an email from Oslo and have it show up in Cleveland almost immediately. But that instant contact has wrecked the work/life balance for many. They get home from a long day at the office, yet they can never fully put their feet up and relax because another hour or more of checking and replying to emails awaits. However, German automotive giant Daimler is putting an end to that churn, at least whi

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China Trying Again To Get Drivers To Switch To EVs

Mercedes-Benz's mega-cool road-railer Unimog now boasts Euro VI compliance. Used for railroad track maintenance and train shunting work, this diesel-powered Unimog offers about a 90-percent improvement in particulate emissions over the Euro V. The new engine also offers improved efficiency. It provides 231 horsepower, and with eight forward and eight reverse gears, it can travel up to 31 miles per hour in either direction. It also has new in-cabin features that make it easier to use for the driv

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Mercedes-Benz's first production plug-in hybrid is chock full of astounding numbers, including the price tag. The base price is 108,944.50 euros, or about $146,000 US. If that didn't make your eyes glaze over, the Daimler division is ready to take your down payments now that the Mercedes-Benz S500 Plug-in Hybrid is officially on sale. Deliveries to European dealerships start in September.

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For Smart, the future is now, or at least this fall. That's when the next-generation versions of Daimler's Smart line of compact vehicles, which were unveiled earlier this month, reach European showrooms, Automotive News says. They might be the first of a broader range that would follow them to stores shortly thereafter.

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Zero-emissions vehicle development has never focused purely on off-the-line acceleration. So when a research executive with Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler says it's Okay that companies like Toyota and Hyundai will have a head start selling hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle, it's somewhat believable. But is Daimler really fine with being two years behind? It appears so.

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It's finally time to plug in the first production Mercedes-Benz-branded electric vehicle in the US. The Daimler division, which also sells a few of its battery-electric Smart ForTwo vehicles here in the states, has officially launched sales of the Mercedes-Benz B-Class ED. Even better, the US will be the first market in the world to give the general public access to the new plug-in.

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Portugal is far better known for its scenery and seascapes (not to mention some of its alcoholic beverages) than its place as a vehicle-testing center. But the European country is serving just that purpose for Daimler's Mercedes-Benz division and a new line of trucks. And they are of the battery-electric variety.

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Italian motorcycle maker MV Agusta has been riding down a rough road so far this year. Not only did it temporarily lose it license to sell bikes in California, rumors have kept popping up about it being sold to a couple of automakers. Fiat was reportedly considering the business for a possible purchase in March.

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Plug-in vehicle advocates can get all warm and fuzzy about two Germany heavyweight automakers getting together for the sake of wireless charging. That's because Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler and BMW will work together to speed up development of a wireless charging system. While not a ton of details were divulged, we can still rejoice.

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Well, that extra weight had to be felt somewhere. With Mercedes-Benz getting ready to start US sales of its B-Class Electric drive this summer, the big question was how well its range would stack up against other electric vehicles sold in the States. Turns out, the Benz is a bit of a juice hog.

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And Just Look At What You Can Get With Your BMW i8

Apparently, Chevrolet Volt battery covers make suitable homes for bats. As part of an Eagle Scout project, Matthew Netherland created 30 bat houses out of scrapped Volt battery covers donated by Chevy. 22 of the bat houses will be set up near hydroelectric dams in Michigan. Each bat house will accommodate 100 bats, and divert the scrapped materials from the landfill. The battery covers also make great nesting boxes for wood ducks, which General Motors has previously set up at its Milford, Michig

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It's official, folks: After initial reports last week indicated that Mercedes-Benz was preparing to begin assembly at the Nissan plant in Aguascalientes, Mexico, the two parent companies have announced just that. Only instead of using the existing Nissan plant at the site (in operation since 1992), Daimler and the Renault-Nissan Alliance have announced a joint venture to build a new one alongside it.

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Until now, the trajectory of the Car2go carsharing service has been growth, growth, growth. But the expansion has hit a snag in jolly old England, where Daimler has announced it will shut down operations there. This means that the two Car2go UK locations, London and Birmingham, will no longer offer one-way, short-term car rentals as of tomorrow.

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Five-plus years may have been about enough time for Daimler AG to know whether it wanted to be in the battery-pack production business. The Mercedes-Benz parent may stop making electric-vehicle batteries and ultimately sell its Li-Tec battery-cell factory in Germany within two years, according to Bloomberg News which cites Manager Magazin. The beneficiary may be LG Electronics, which would likely take over battery-production duties for models such as Daimler's Smart ED battery-electric vehicle.

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Mercedes-Benz has been profiting mightily from compact cars recently. Its Kecskemét, Hungary, factory added a third shift to keep up with demand, and company's US arm called the CLA-Class, its "best launch in 20 years." However, Daimler boss Dieter Zetsche says the Mercedes brand won't be getting any smaller, subcompact models; they will be reserved for the Smart brand.

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The Beach Boys typified the Southern California lifestyle by famously singing about hot rods, drag races and convertibles (not to mention surfer girls). So we never would've guessed that their hometown would help host a carsharing service featuring squat two-seaters. But times have changed.

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There's been talk of late about the technical partnership between Aston Martin and the AMG division of Mercedes-Benz going beyond engines to include Mercedes sports car and SUV platforms for the English brand, perhaps as a way to kickstart the development of a Lagonda SUV. But AMG CEO Tobias Moers, speaking to Top Gear, said that's effectively out of the question because, "No one has the time to discuss any more involvement than that for now."

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For anyone who's not convinced that the auto industry operates on a slow timetable, remember that Mercedes and BYD first teamed up for a Chinese-market electric vehicle in 2010. While we've heard lots about the resulting EV that the Denza brand would make since then, the car wasn't scheduled to hit the market until 2014. At the Beijing Motor Show this week, Denza showed off a production version of the car and said that things are "well on track" for sales in September.

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According to a report in Reuters, we will get to know the new face of Maybach at this year's Los Angeles Auto Show and Guangzhou Motor Show. The revival of the name has been in the news for a while now, but what hasn't been clear is where it will fit in with other models like the coming Pullman. The Reuters piece says it will be "used to adorn an exclusive version of its S-Class limousine," but the real punch is reading that it is expected to "cost more than double the 165,000-euro ($228,000) as

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Mercedes-Benz is about to give Americans another choice of battery-powered vehicle. Offering more all-electric range than the Nissan Leaf or BMW i3, and with a smaller price tag than the Tesla Model S, the B-Class Electric Drive is officially set to arrive in the US this summer. Indeed, the first examples have begun rolling off the production line in Rastatt, Germany.

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Some executives in the automotive industry stay with one company for their entire careers, while others bounce from one to the other, often leaving their indelible mark on each automaker at which they serve. Bob Lutz is certainly an example of the latter. So is Lee Iacocca, having presided over Ford and later charing the Chrysler board. Carlos Tavares was chief operating officer of Renault before being nominated as chief executive at PSA Peugeot Citroën. But as far as the Germans go, nobody

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