|The BlueZERO E-CELL PLUS. Click to enlarge.|
At the North American International Autoshow in January, Mercedes-Benz presented the Concept BlueZERO for electric vehicles. Based on a single vehicle architecture, this modular concept supports three models with different drive configurations: the BlueZERO E-CELL with battery-electric drive; the BlueZERO F-CELL (fuel cell); and the BlueZERO E-CELL PLUS with electric drive and internal combustion engine as range extender. (Earlier post.)
Mercedes has now provided some additional details on the extended range electric vehicle, BlueZERO E-CELL PLUS.
|The 1.0L range extender is installed in the area of the rear axle. Click to enlarge.|
As announced in January, the E-CELL PLUS offers a total range of up to 600 kilometers (373 miles) and can cover a distance of up to 100 km (62 miles) using electric drive alone. A 1.0-liter three-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine (the same as in the smart for two) installed in the area of the rear axle serves as the range extender. Power output is 50 kW at 3500 rpm. The CO2 bonus for the battery-electric driving mode reduces the vehicle’s emissions to 32 grams of CO2 per kilometer.
Maximum rated output of the electric drive is 100 kW/136 hp (70 kW/94 hp sustained), with maximum torque of 320 N·m. The BlueZERO E-CELL PLUS, like the two other BlueZERO variants, can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in less than eleven seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 150 km/h (93 mph).
During rapid charging with a charging capacity of 20 kW, the liquid-cooled, 17.5 kWh lithium-ion battery pack of the BlueZERO E-CELL PLUS can store enough power within around 30 minutes for a 50 kilometer (31 mile) cruising range. The complete electric range of 100 kilometers requires a charging time of somewhat more than an hour.
Charging time with a standard charge cycle at a conventional household outlet with 3.3 kW is approximately 6 hours. On-board electronics support the intelligent charging stations and billing systems used by electric fuelling stations.
All three BlueZERO models feature front-wheel drive. Mercedes envisions battery packs with up to 35 kWh capacity for the family (for the E-CELL model).
The three BlueZERO variants were developed on the basis of the unique sandwich-floor architecture known from the A-Class and B-Class. The key drive components are installed in the vehicle’s underbody in such a way that they take up little space, ensure a good center of gravity, and are maximally protected.
All three BlueZERO variants share key technological components and have identical designs and vehicle dimensions. Even though they have compact exterior dimensions, the 4.22-meter-long BlueZERO models have a spacious and versatile interior and cargo space. The vehicles feature five full-size seats, approximately 450 kilograms of payload, and more than 500 liters of cargo capacity.
Our modular system permits different drive configurations for each customer requirement. The improved sandwich floor platform serves as the perfect basis for a diverse range of vehicles with electric drives. We are currently developing an additional platform for future compact models that have drive systems using optimized internal combustion engines.
The smart linking of both architectures will allow us to expand our product range in an extremely flexible and efficient manner. Beginning in 2009, we will manufacture the first small batch of Mercedes fuel cell cars. In 2010, they will be followed by a small batch of Mercedes-Benz vehicles that run solely on electric power supplied by a battery.—Dr. Thomas Weber, the Daimler Board of Management Member responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development