BlueEFFICIENCY has been developed by Mercedes-Benz as the first stage on a journey towards emission free driving. Everything from the engine to the wheels has been optimised for lower emissions, minimum fuel consumption and greatly reduced running costs.

Most BlueEFFICIENCY models have C02 emissions of under 160 g/km and therefore fall within the new 20% capital write down allowance. Add to this low Benefit-in-Kind payments as well as strong residual values and you have a range of vehicles ideal for the business market.

The C-Class 220 CDI SE BlueEFFICIENCY in particular offers exceptionally low whole life costs. Surprisingly, compared to mainstream competitors, such as Ford, Renault, Honda, Vauxhall, Volkswagen, Audi and BMW, it could save up to 10p per mile*. It also boasts emissions of only 127 g/km C02 and BIK at 18%, incredible for a car that has 170hp.

Further benefits include a competitive P11d cost, lower fuel costs, and strong residual values after 3 years (based on 20,000 miles per annum) of 45%. Compared to the previous engine, there is a 23% improvement in fuel consumption, a drop of four company car tax bands and three VED bands.

The C-Class is just one example. BlueEFFICIENCY advances are reducing costs right across the Mercedes-Benz range.

BlueEFFICIENCY technology reduces the environmental impact of running Mercedes-Benz cars. Not only that, but all the processes from production to disposal have been streamlined to conform with best environmental practice. Then in order to help drivers do more to reduce their fuel consumption, fuel efficiency is built into the car at every stage.

Innovations include engine technology with less internal friction for improved efficiency and an ECO start/stop function that stops the engine whenever the car is stationary to save fuel. Advanced aerodynamic styling, such as smaller wing mirrors, also help to reduce fuel costs. Thinner, lighter alloy wheels are part of a number of weight reductions and energy efficient tyres reduce friction.

Mercedes-Benz have already introduced BlueEFFICIENCY versions of some of their most popular models and are adding more models to the range at every opportunity. Naturally, drivers will value the luxury and performance that Mercedes-Benz vehicles have always offered. While the new models have been designed to be as environmentally sound as possible, no sacrifices have been made in terms of safety, comfort or superior driving performance. In other words, driving pleasure and energy conservation aren’t mutually exclusive here.

The Mercedes Benz goal of zero emissions has been brought even closer thanks to recent advances in fuel cell drives. In a fuel cell, a chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen generates power for an electric motor, emitting nothing but water vapour. In 1994, Mercedes-Benz presented the first research vehicle with a fuel-cell drive as a possible solution to motoring without relying on crude oil.

With that in mind, Mercedes-Benz plan to introduce their first B-Class F-CELL as soon as 2010 (in left-hand drive only). Its new 100 kW high-torque fuel-cell drive is more powerful than the previous generation and is able to combine emission-free driving with dynamic performance. The operating range has also been extended significantly to a staggering 400 km.

Right now, BlueEFFICIENCY means savings on road tax, Benefit In Kind, fuel consumption, reduced harmful emissions and lower purchase prices for the vehicle itself. So a car that may not even have been on your list as a fleet option should now be a serious consideration.

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* Forecast Operating Costs from KeeResources’ KWIKCarCost. Report is based on an operating cycle of 3 Years and 20,000 miles per annum. Cost per mile includes Depreciation, SMR, Fuel, Employers NI, Insurance, Finance and VED. Comparison based on a Mercedes-Benz C 220 CDI SE BlueEFFICIENCY and equivalent models from BMW, Audi, Honda, Renault, Ford, Vauxhall, Volkswagen, Peugeot and Saab. Data correct as at 13.07.2009.

Official government fuel consumption figures for the Mercedes-Benz range in mpg (litres per 100km): Urban 53.3-(5.3)/11.7-(24.1), Extra Urban 74.3-(3.8)/23.2-(12.2), Combined 64.2-(4.4)/17.1(16.5), C02 (g/km) 116-392