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Mercedes-Benz to introduce 10 plug-in hybrids by 2017; GLE PHEV coming soon

Mercedes-Benz is making a strategic push on plug-in hybrids: the Stuttgart-based automaker will introduce 10 new plug-in hybrid models by 2017. The company said that the main emphasis as regards alternative drives in years to come will be on plug-in hybrids.

The announcement follows the market introduction of the C 350 e (earlier post, earlier post), the company’s second plug-in hybrid model following the S 500 Plug-In Hybrid (earlier post). At the Geneva Motor Show, the company showcased the new MPV plug-in hybrid Concept V-ision e study. (Earlier post.) As the plug-in hybrid comes into its own especially in larger vehicles and with mixed distance profiles, Mercedes-Benz is opting for this drive concept from the C-Class upwards—the technology will make its entry soon into the SUV segment with the new Mercedes-Benz GLE.

Mercedes’ Plug-In Hybrid system is based on the company's modular parallel hybrid system. The common system-specific feature is the additional clutch integrated between the combustion engine and the electric motor. On the one hand this decouples the combustion engine during purely electric operation, while on the other it allows the vehicle to use the combustion engine to move off, drawing on the performance of a wet start-up clutch.

The modular hybrid concept is scalable to allow it to be transferred to a large number of model series and body versions as well as left and right-hand drive variants.

The Concept V-ision e previewed at the Geneva Motor Show features a system output of 245 kW (333 hp) with a system torque of up to 600 N·m (443 lb-ft); standard consumption is less than 3.0 liters of fuel per 100 kilometres (78 mpg US), while the all-electric range is up to 50 km (31 miles).

Background. In 1982, at the same time as it was launching the Mercedes-Benz 190, the predecessor of the C-Class, Mercedes-Benz also presented the first concept vehicle with a hybrid drive in which the battery was charged by a two-cylinder horizontally opposed engine.

A number of other experimental vehicles followed until in 2009 the world’s first standard-specification hybrid drive with a lithium-ion battery made its debut at Mercedes-Benz: the S 400 Hybrid.

The second-generation hybrid transmission evolved on the basis of the 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission. It premiered in 2012 in the E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid, the first diesel hybrid in the premium segment worldwide.

After the E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid, S 400 Hybrid, S 300 BlueTEC Hybrid, C 300 BlueTEC Hybrid and S 500 PLUG-IN Hybrid, the C 350 e is the latest hybrid model from Mercedes Benz. The company is also a leading player in the field of all-electric mobility.

All current hybrid and electric drive vehicles from Mercedes-Benz Cars:

  • 2012:  smart fortwo electric drive
  • 2012:  E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid
  • 2013:  SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive
  • 2013:  S 400 Hybrid
  • 2013:  S 300 BlueTEC Hybrid
  • 2014:  C 300 BlueTEC Hybrid
  • 2014:  B-Class Electric Drive
  • 2014:  S 500 Plug-in Hybrid
  • 2015:  C 350 e


I'm impressed to see Mercedes introduce PHEV into so many models across the product line.

Patrick Free

If 10 extra PHEVs with ridiculous 10KWH battery pack, working the electric turbo way with no decent "all elctric" mode and 100KW electric motor for > 2 tons cars, they will have to forget me again.
Users need 30KWH battery and 200KW electric motor, to provide a decent all electric mode in a PHEV of such sizes. Rest is only non-sense for kidding with EU regulations and taxes.

Account Deleted

What would impress me was if Benz said they would make a fully autonomous long-range BEV.


@PF, I disagree. Even a 100 Kw motor can drive the cars in heavy traffic and cities. This will help with urban pollution.

It will also help with the CO2 figures calculated by the crazy Euro Ncap test method, which will reduce taxation, which will enable the roll out of the PHEVs.

It makes perfect sense for luxury car makers to do this as it lowers their apparent CO2 figures and gives the cars a green halo.

A better CO2 test would also help a lot as we need a way to get realistic PHEV CO2 figures.


@Patrick Free:

Mercedes say:

'However, in an age when even Audi’s A3 e-tron plug-in hybrid delivers 50km of pure electric driving, the S500 Hybrid manages only 33km.

Oddly, the car will need to increase its electric range to 50km within two years so that it can meet China’s minimum range rules for plug-in hybrids.

Dr Uwe Keller, Mercedes-Benz’s technical project manager for powertrain hybrids explained that the Magna Steyr-built battery pack had room for developments, which were coming thick and fast.

“We don’t just want an electric car, but the best real hybrid. Its role is to deliver a car that is everything, not just an electric car.

“We will have to fit a larger battery for the Chinese market in two years, approximately, because of their laws so we will look at larger capacity in the same power packet and space,” he explained.'

IOW they are not going to stay at 10kwh forever, or even for very long.

They would have allowed more battery space if they weren't confident that they could meet Chinese regulatory requirements with the current space and that the better batteries would happen.

Predicting the density that will be available in 5-10 years is difficult or impossible.

They pretty much know what they can do in two years, as they will be being road tested right now.

I'm convinced that as with the Volt, once drivers experience all-electric driving, they'll clamor for longer AER. MB will up the ante in a few years when gen
2 battery tech makes the packaging easy.

Excellent post Davemart, thanks.


BMW also plan considerable enhancements to the AER of the i3 and i8:

'"We have a minimum 20 percent battery density improvement every three years, thus over the i3 and i8's life cycle, we will offer more performance, more range or a combination of the two," Fröhlich said to Automotive News Europe. Sadly, current owners won't be able to upgrade to the improved parts, though.'


I should have added that BMW will already be in advanced testing of the 20% improved batteries, as again that is knowable, short term stuff.

It is also a bit of a different challenge for Tesla, as it tends to be tougher to improve class leading battery performance than catch up, and indeed much improvement for the NCA cells used in the Tesla S may require very new chemistry.


This is really exciting stuff. Its great to see all the big German manufacturers do this. Electric driving is going mainstream and we have a variety of competitive products.

Maybe we have really hit the inflection point for Oil demand.


Yes msevior: 2018-2020 may be the tipping point when new vehicles will use less fossil and bio-fuels than the previous generations.

It will be interesting to see where FCEVs will fit versus extended range BEVs.


We may hit an inflection point in the developed world, but the developing world will take up the slack as they get the cheapest cars they can (either new or used from the developed world).

As the world gets richer, more and more people will want cars, and they won;t care about CO2 or NOX, they will just want a car.

After a decade or two they may rethink this as they sit in traffic jams breathing smog, but it is one of these things you cannot teach people. Each country has to discover it in their own time, with their own children's health in danger.

This is what has happened in China and will happen in most developing countries as they get rich enough for cars.

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