”Design for environment” concept A-Class above for Mercedes-Benz

19 October 2004 #SMMT News

Mercedes-Benz has demonstrated their green design credentials with the new A-Class.

The new car has been developed and re-designed around a total environmental concept covering the vehicle’s entire lifecycle, including its manufacture. An analysis of 40,000 individual processes was conducted, all of which were then optimised from an environmental standpoint.

Environmental performance has been improved in the following areas:


  • Emissions in the manufacture and use of the new A-Class have fallen 17 per cent, saving around 1,300 litres of petrol per vehicle


  • Overall energy consumption has been reduced by eight per cent


  • 21 per cent of all plastic components are produced from recycled plastics – three times higher than for the outgoing A-Class


  • 26 components of the latest model are made from renewable raw materials


  • CO2 emissions over the full lifecycle of the car are nine per cent below that of the outgoing model


  • Emissions of nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide and volatile hydrocarbons are down 17, six and eight per cent respectively

Improvements in the manufacturing process, as well as the body, chassis and engine design, have seen overall emissions reduced. Modified petrol engines, for example, now have higher output, but consume up to 10 per cent less fuel. They also comply with Euro IV emission limits, a full two years ahead of the 2006 deadline.

In terms of end of life recycling, the new A-Class already meets the target rate of 85 per cent by weight, the Europe-wide requirement from 2006. With further design changes in the future, it is set to meet the recycling target of 95 per cent from 2015.

When it comes to preserving resources, Mercedes-Benz uses a range of high quality recycled plastics, and channels materials from end-of-life vehicles and scrapped car parts back into the production of new vehicles. A total of 54 recycled components with a combined weight of 34 kilograms are in the new A-Class. That’s 21 per cent of all the plastic parts used, more than three times that of the outgoing model.


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