Mercedes-Benz Malaysia has clarified its position regarding the controversial proposed B10 biodiesel (diesel with 10 percent blend of palm oil-derived content), saying that only the locally-assembled Mercedes-Benz E300 BlueTec Hybrid is compatible with B10 biodiesel.
Before you start wondering if the company has made a U-turn on its position, no far from that. The company is simply reiterating what it said earlier in a more specific manner.
Earlier in July, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia issued a statement to the press saying:
“After having initially stated that the B10 Biodiesel blend requires further consideration, we are now pleased to inform our customers about the B10 Biodiesel blend suitability for all Mercedes-Benz diesel vehicles currently sold by Mercedes-Benz Malaysia. Customer safety and vehicle quality is of the utmost importance to Mercedes-Benz Malaysia.
“We have evaluated carefully the influence of B10 Biodiesel blends on our current diesel vehicles for the Malaysian market and we are now able to confirm its’ compatibility. We have service intervals of 12,000 kilometers to ensure that our customers are not affected by the diesel quality. Our diesel-powered vehicles currently sold in Malaysia were seen to have run both smoothly and safely with the use of the B10 Biodiesel blend.”
In saying “…suitable for all Mercedes-Benz diesel vehicles currently sold by Mercedes-Benz Malaysia,” the company is referring to only the diesel-electric E300 BlueTec Hybrid, although the company didn’t explicitly mention it that way.
Apart from Mitsubishi Fuso (despite its name, is owned by Mercedes-Benz) and Mercedes-Benz commercial trucks, there are no other diesel-powered Mercedes-Benz passenger cars on sale in Malaysia.
In an interview with BFM radio two Fridays back, the outgoing President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Malaysia Mr. Roland Folger said:
“It was an important step to clarify the issue. Whereas in the past, there was also maybe some miscommunication along the lines. When we first came out, we said we need to check whether that (B10 biodiesel) works together because when we specify the diesel for the Malaysian market, and we talked to our R&D colleagues in Germany, trying to find out whether that would work or not, we changed some adaptations, and these adaptations were changed only for this specific vehicle – the E300 diesel hybrid. It was changed to also include B10. But, and this is a word of caution, this is also something that we need to take into consideration that this does not apply to all our diesel versions.
“We will also in the future to always check and verify again whether they can work together – the local regulations together with our specifications that we have. So we are also discussing with the government, in very close discussions. Should there be any plans to go beyond that stage, it is always up to the government to decide on what they want to do, but that would greatly reduce our possibilities to bring new technology into this country.”
To sum it up, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia was just being very polite in saying that it was very difficult to get a car adapted to run on a Malaysia-only fuel, and the government cannot expect them to continue doing this for all their diesel-powered vehicles. B10 is the maximum it can go and if the government insists on going to B15 (already proposed), there will be no diesel-powered Mercedes-Benz vehicles for Malaysia.
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