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5VW, Fiat, Mercedes could be CNG winners in Europe

Fiat ads in the US try to play up the exotic, sexy side of Italian culture. On the home front in Italy, however, passenger-vehicle sales are marked by something less edgy and quite a bit more practical: the growth of compressed-natural-gas (CNG) powered car sales.

8Mercedes surprised Hamilton with this steering wheel message

Lewis Hamilton had much to celebrate at the end of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this past weekend. Not only did he win the race in commanding form (the 33rd in his career to make him the fifth most successful in Formula One history), but he also scored enough points (double on the season finale this year) to outpace his teammate and chief rival to win the world championship. Having already been crowned champion in 2008, that makes him one of only sixteen drivers to have won multiple world titles.

58Nissan edges out Tesla for most ZEV credits sold in California

2014 Numbers Show New Companies On Top, Bottom Of List

When it comes to California zero-emissions vehicle (ZEV) credits last year, Nissan was selling and Mercedes-Benz was buying. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) put out its ZEV-credits numbers for the year that ended September 30, which is why we now know that Nissan, maker of the battery-electric Leaf, transferred 663.6 ZEV credits out of its account last year. That just edged out the 650.195 credits that Tesla sold. Chrysler's Fiat affiliate was a distant third, but its limited-productio

11Online Find of the Day: Lexus-engined Mercedes pickup is a vintage hybrid

You have to love someone who gets incredibly committed to a very weird idea. What you see for sale here is a right-hand drive 1971 Mercedes-Benz 220D in South Africa, but this old Mercedes is now converted into a pickup, complete with bed cover, and there's big secret under the hood, too.

18Mercedes-AMG GT attacks Circuit of the Americas

Mercedes-Benz is having a banner year with its Formula One team. Through 2014, the constructor has 454 championship points; ahead of its nearest competitor (Red Bull-Renault) by a margin of 182 tally marks. We're sure they can almost taste the champagne.

17Mercedes-Benz to build new ML coupe-crossover in Alabama in 2015

SUV Lineup Could Get New Naming Structure

Mercedes-Benz will expand its factory in Tuscaloosa, AL, to build the ML Coupe, a new crossover that will join its lineup in 2015. Mercedes will also ramp up production to build facelifted versions of the M-Class and GL-Class SUVs, lifting the factory's total production capacity to about 300,000 units annually in 2015. It made 185,000 vehicles in 2013. In addition to SUVs, the Tuscaloosa site also currently makes the C-Class sedan and the R-Class crossover, which is sold in international markets

36Daimler employees can set email to auto-delete during vacation

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

AddRecharge Wrap-up: Cool new Euro VI railroader Unimog, Car2go hearts charity

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

41Sales start for $146,000 Mercedes-Benz S500 Plug In Hybrid

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.

78 automakers, 15 utilities collaborate on open smart-charging for EVs

We're going to lead with General Motors here. GM is one of eight automakers working with 15 utilities and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) at developing a "smart" plug-in vehicle charging system. Why did we start with GM? Because it's the first automaker whose press release we read that mentioned the other seven automakers. Points for sharing.

56Daimler: 2017 the right time to launch our hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle

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.

20Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive gets official US launch

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.

6Recharge Wrap-Up: No new Smart Roadster, Africa to UK on one tank, Duke's efficient axial engine [w/videos]

Smart will not make another generation of the Roadster, but a Smart SUV might be in the cards. According to Smart's CEO, Annette Winkler, "The Roadster isn't a profitable business case. Everybody is keen on the car, but nobody wants to pay the bill." What Car? states that Smart is likely planning a baby SUV to take on the Nissan Juke and its ilk. But for the immediate future, Winkler says Smart "must focus on how we can maximize potential of the Fortwo and Forfour. That is strategy number one."

AddDaimler, BMW partnering up on wireless charging

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.

22014 Mercedes SL and SLK add small expansion to Takata airbag recall

Mercedes-Benz is the latest automaker to be affected by Takata's massive airbag recall. The company has announced a voluntary recall campaign on a small number of model-year 2014 SLK- and SL-Class roadsters.

352014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class ED has 87-mile range, 84 MPGe

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.

23Mercedes takes VW Westfalia Camper idea upscale with new Marco Polo

Earlier this year, Mercedes-Benz revealed the new V-Class. Slotting in below the popular Sprinter, the new V-Class replaced both the Viano and Vito upon its debut at the Geneva Motor Show. But Mercedes isn't quite done with it just yet. At the upcoming Caravan Salon in Düsseldorf, Germany, Mercedes will reveal the Marco Polo - a versatile, stylish and decidedly contemporary take on the classic camper van.

1Recharge Wrap-up: Batty battery covers, Mercedes at Silvretta, new Hyundai Sonata Hybrid available in 2015

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

4Daimler could sell off Li-Tec's EV battery business

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.

40US buyers show little interest in big hybrids

The idea of producing large, luxury-vehicle hybrids is turning into a "what were they thinking?" exercise in futility, USA Today reports. General Motors is discontinuing hybrid versions of the Cadillac Escalade, Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon SUVs, while Mercedes-Benz and Toyota's Lexus division are doing the same with their S-Class hybrid and LS hybrid sedans, respectively. The culprit? Big price increases for fuel economy improvements that border on the unimpressive.

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