Industry officials discussed at a meeting before Washington the possibility to rely more on alternative fuel sources and less on gasoline and diesel units. Johan de Nysschen, executive vice president of Audi of America Inc., insisted the United States government may push Detroit 3 close to collapse with their requirements, as Ford, GM and Chrysler are now required to focus on the development of small-displacement engines that produce a lower fuel consumption compared to previous models. De Nysschen explained that Detroit 3 “could end up trying to sell vehicles that don't make economic sense,” the aforementioned source reported.
In addition, Richard Kolodziej, president of Natural Gas Vehicles for America, said the United States automotive industry has a big advantage in the natural gas supplies as a lot of automakers could rely on this source of power with reduced costs. Moreover, natural gas is climate-friendly, clean-burning and economic, Kolodziej he added.
Mercedes is already selling a B-Klasse model in Europe that can use both gasoline and compressed natural gas but, similar to North America, it just aims to test the market, according to William Craven. However, it's not yet clear whether Mercedes plans to bring the same vehicle in the United States, obviously with several adjustments, or to release a brand new model for this side of the market.