Saving the planet need not cost the Earth – that’s the message Mercedes-Benz will be taking to the CV Show 2011, as it demonstrates yet again its determination to produce cleaner and more economical commercial vehicles.

Visitors to the NEC event (April 12-14) will be able to see at first hand the remarkable Mercedes-Benz Vito E-CELL, a vehicle that offers a tantalising glimpse of an emissions-free future.

The world’s first battery-powered van to be built on line at a mainstream production facility, the whisper-quiet Vito E-CELL will be presented at the NEC in complete form and as a stripped down chassis, so the ground-breaking electric driveline can be viewed in close detail.

Still on the ‘green’ theme, Mercedes-Benz is also exhibiting a Euro 5-engined 113CDI from the recently launched Vito range in eco-friendly BlueEFFICIENCY trim, and a natural gas-powered Sprinter 316 NGT with factory-fitted dropside bodywork that emits practically no particulate emissions and has an exceptionally low carbon footprint when run on liquid biomethane produced from organic waste.

Meanwhile, the Mercedes-Benz Trucks division is showing a 2443LS 6×2 tractor unit with small-wheeled mid-lift axle and low-roofed sleeper cab, from the new Axor range, which is just starting to reach Britain’s roads.

Like its smaller sibling the new Mercedes-Benz Atego – the reigning International Truck of the Year – the Axor range of distribution and construction rigids, and distribution tractor units, has undergone a significant makeover.

Both Axor and Atego have received a fresh new ‘face’ which incorporates the bold grille treatment already seen on premium specification Actros tractor units and rigids, as well as a host of new and improved in-cab features.