Hunan team develops new strategy to prolong cycle life of Li-S batteries
Mercedes-Benz’ GLC F-CELL fuel-cell plug-in hybrid SUV coming in 2017

Daimler investing >€7B in next 2 years in green tech; fuel cell plug-in, BEV architecture; 48V

At its TecDay event in Stuttgart, Daimler said it will invest more than €7 billion (US$7.9 billion) in green technologies in the next two years alone. Shortly, smart will be the only automaker worldwide to offer its entire model range both powered by internal combustion engines or operating on battery power. Mercedes-Benz will put the first fuel-cell-powered vehicle with plug-in technology into series production: the GLC F-CELL. In addition, the company is developing a dedicated vehicle architecture for battery-electric motor cars.

Following the company’s recent introduction of the new OM 654 diesel family (earlier post), Daimler will introduce a new family of gasoline engines in 2017, which will again set efficiency standards and will be the first ever to be equipped with a particulate filter (earlier post). The 48-volt on-board power supply will be introduced at the same time and starter-generators will become part of the standard specification. The 48V system will make fuel savings possible that previously were the exclusive domain of the high-voltage hybrid technology.

At the same time, Mercedes-Benz will expand its plug-in hybrid offerings with the seventh and eighth models—the GLC Coupé 350 e 4MATIC and the E 350 e— arriving in dealer showrooms later this year. The next major technology leap will be made in 2017, starting with the model update of the S 500 e plug-in hybrid: for the first time, all-electric operating ranges exceeding 50 km (31 miles) will be made possible by an advancement of the lithium-ion battery together with a further optimized intelligent operating strategy.

We will invest 14.5 billion euro in research and development in the next two years alone – more than half of it will again be spent on green technologies. Just for our passenger cars, we are talking about 5.4 billion euro. As a matter of fact, no other manufacturer offers a comparable range of electrified vehicles and solutions in the field of electric mobility. The spectrum ranges from the smart city runabout and attractive Mercedes-Benz passenger cars to buses, coaches, and trucks of the Fuso brand. We will electrify all Mercedes-Benz passenger car model series step by step.

—Prof Dr Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development

Daimler is looking for a coexistence of different technologies in its future line-up, which will be optimally tailored to particular customer needs and vehicle models.

Customers are not looking to sacrifice in the sense of less car—on the contrary. That is why we emphasize enhanced efficiency through more intelligent technology—and we do it consistently in all model series. All the mentioned types of powertrains—gasoline, diesel, plug-in-hybrids, batteries or hydrogen—have their justification and chances.

—Thomas Weber

Dr Weber noted that thanks to intensive research work, Daimler expects to see a doubling of the energy density in an unchanged installation space while the cost of batteries will be cut by half.

With the introduction of the post-lithium-ion technology, of which the lithium-sulfur systems are currently the most promising, we will have an entirely different playing field in the next decade.

—Thomas Weber

High-efficiency internal combustion engines and 48V hybrids. Mercedes-Benz attaches key importance to the optimization of modern internal combustion engines in its road map to sustainable mobility. This includes continued emphasis on diesel platforms.

Especially in Europe, diesel engines are the most economical and efficient alternative for those who drive a lot. Our new premium diesel models are more fuel efficient and more powerful, lighter and more compact than ever before – and they are designed to meet all future emission standards worldwide. Diesel engines in trucks and cars are indispensable if traffic-related CO2 emissions are to be cut further.

—Thomas Weber

Mercedes-Benz will introduce the 48-volt on-board power supply along with the new generation of gasoline engines in 2017. The 48V system will make fuel savings possible that previously were the exclusive domain of the high-voltage hybrid technology.

The first representative of the new gasoline engine family, an in-line six-cylinder engine (M 256) with integrated starter generator (ISG), will be launched in 2017 and will set new benchmarks in efficiency, the company said. The new family of engines will also include a four-cylinder engine with belt-driven starter generator (RSG) starting in 2017.


Top: The integrated starter-alternator (ISG) combines starter and alternator in an efficient electric motor between engine and transmission.

Bottom: The belt-driven starter-alternator (RSG) is conventionally coupled to the combustion engine by a belt drive. The combination of starter and alternator assists the combustion engine with starting, acceleration and energy recovery. Click to enlarge.

48-Volt Battery. Low-voltage hybridization with a 48-volt on-board electrical system will allow further fuel savings in future. This was previously conceivable only with the use of high-voltage hybrid technology. Click to enlarge.

The 48 V technology will be introduced in various model series step by step. The 48-volt on-board power supply offers four times the power of its 12-volt predecessor at unchanged currents, but without the additional safety architecture of a high-voltage system. Furthermore, this low-voltage system makes fuel savings possible that previously were the exclusive domain of the high-voltage hybrid technology. That is because the important hybrid functions energy recovery, boost and starting off and maneuvering in electric mode can be realized for the first time without high-voltage components.


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