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