The challenge of raising the car’s fuel efficiency and making the cars weigh less is not new. In fact, this subject has been around ever since Carl Benz filed a patent in 1886 for his "gas engine-powered vehicle" in Berlin.
Later that same year, inventor and entrepreneur Gottlieb Daimler was working on his motor wagon in a workshop less than 100km away. It’s interesting how this topic remains to be a hot discussion as Benz and Daimler's creation celebrates its 125th anniversary.
Daimler AG is actually using the anniversary to promote its multiple contributions to the car. In the 18th century, inventors in France and England started to conduct the first experiments with vehicles driven by steam engines.
In the 19th century, advances in stream-powered engines continued. Electric motors were also attempted for the first time but it was the invention of the four-stroke engine by Nikolaus August Otto that had become the basis of today’s cars.
Benz, Daimler and his partner, Wilhelm Maybach, were focused on determining how to reduce the size and weight of the engine while increasing its power output too. As before, companies want to find solutions to cost-effectively reduce vehicle weight while raising output.
In February, Volkswagen AG revealed that production of a limited run of its new ultra fuel-efficient car, the XL1, will be started in two years. According to VW CEO Martin Winterkorn, the XL1's first markets will be Europe, beginning with Germany, then the U.S. and China.