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Mercedes-Benz is considering entering the automotive CNG market with a version of its B-Class compact vehicle and it's currently showing just the machine at the Washington (D.C.) Auto Show. Regardless of the German automaker's intent, the decision on whether or not to actually offer the vehicle in America may have a lot to do with hybrid- and electric-specific legislation that, for better or for worse, rewards consumers for choosing specific vehicles based on the size of their battery pack.

Natural gas burns much cleaner than gasoline or diesel fuel and could therefore be a viable way to lower emissions. While it's generally true that natural gas is a fossil fuel, it can also be collected from landfills or created synthetically. For those looking to avoid the importation of fuel, the United States and Canada are major producers of natural gas. Still, if there's no financially sound reason for consumers to purchase a CNG vehicle, it seems highly unlikely that M-B will choose to import one.

Click above for a gallery of the Mercedes-Benz B-Class

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