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When the radical Mercedes-Benz F-125! hit the stage at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show it was (and still is) a non-working concept. The zero-emissions F125! is great, in theory, with lithium-sulphur batteries, controls via "touch, speech and hand gestures," semi-autonomous driving, three-dimensional projector-beam displays and a 1,000-kilometer range. In reality, the F125! is, well, a novel concept with massive gullwing doors.

Mercedes-Benz and Europcar, a Paris-based automotive rental company owned by French investment firm Eurazeo, have teamed up to offer commercial electric van rentals to customers on a trial basis in Hamburg, Germany and Paris by the end of 2011. The deal calls for M-B to supply Europcar with a "double-digit number" of Vito E-Cell electric vans. M-B says that: