As part of an annual meeting held in Berlin, Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche says that the company will increase its R&D spending to $21 billion for the year 2010. A major part of those expenses will go towards alternative powerplants. Hydrogen and lithium ion batteries will make up a good chunk of these charges, and Zetsche claims that Daimler has made "a major breakthrough in battery technology." Regarding the heat generated by lithium ion batteries, Zetsche adds, "Daimler has solved the problem. Thanks to the integration of the vehicle's cooling system, the batteries can now operate continually at optimal system temperatures. This maximizes their power output; extends their service life, and make it possible to use this high-performance technology in automotive applications. We've protected this innovation with 25 patents."
Mercedes-Benz will continue to offer large, powerful and luxurious vehicles in each of the market segments in which it competes. What's more, Dr. Z adds, the company "aims to offer at least one model in each of the Mercedes-Benz core model series that is a leader in fuel consumption." We're reminded of the F700 concept that the company recently introduced. We would add that DiesOtto, or HCCI engines, could make a dent in Mercedes' overall fuel consumption statistics.
[Source: The Car Connection]