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TÜV lifecycle analysis shows Mercedes-Benz E 350 e PHEV cuts GHG footprint 44% compared to E 350 CGI; equivalent NOx

The Mercedes-Benz E 350 e plug-in hybrid (earlier post) has successfully completed the TÜV validation audit and received the Environmental Certificate. This award is based on a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) in which the independent experts at TÜV Süd (the German Technical Inspection Authority) comprehensively assess the environmental impact of the passenger car over its entire life cycle.

The Mercedes-Benz E 350 e is rated with an NEDC fuel consumption of 2.1 l/100 km (112 mpg US), and electric energy consumption (NEDC) of 11.5 kWh/100 km. The LCA found total CO2 emissions around 44% lower than the previous E 350 CGI model, which has comparable performance data and a conventional engine, during its life cycle (material manufacture, production, driving for 250,000 kilometers (155,000 miles) calculated with certified consumption figures and recycling) when the hybrid model is charged externally with the European energy mix.

If the calculation is based on the use of renewable energy for external charging, the CO2 emissions can be reduced by as much as 63%. The E 350 e consumes 31 or 48% less primary energy over all its life cycle phases.

Although in the production phase, the PHEV gives rise to a higher quantity of CO₂-emissions caused by the additional hybrid-specific components, over the entire lifecycle it shows clear advantages.

The Plug-in Hybrid is a good example of how a transparent analysis of the entire life cycle is required to show and evaluate the environmental impact in its entirety. With these analyses, we go way beyond the statutory requirements. They also enable us to prove that the naturally higher use of resources in production is more than compensated for by the significantly better ecological balance when driving, meaning that the overall Life Cycle Assessment is improved, too.

—Anke Kleinschmit, Head of Research and Chief Environmental Officer for the Daimler Group

However, with the European grid mix, lifecycle NOx emissions from the E 350 e are equivalent to those of the E 350 CGI. With renewably generated electricity from hydro power, NOx-emissions will be reduced by 42% in comparison to the predecessor.


The E 350 e uses the 9G-TRONIC plug-in-hybrid transmission and the latest generation of electric motors. New power electronics have allowed further increases in the electric motor’s output and torque to 65 kW (88 hp) and 440 N·m respectively. The Mercedes-Benz E 350 e has a system output of 210 kW (286 hp) and a torque of 550 N·m. Further improvements to the intelligent operating strategy also increase the efficiency. With a 6.4 kWh battery pack, up to 33 km (20.5 miles) of all-electric driving is possible, depending on the individual driving profile and the ambient conditions.



If I read this correctly, they compare the "new" E-class E 350 e with the "old" E 350 CGI. Thus, it would be an apples-to-oranges comparison. The new body is much lighter, has lower air drag and many other modifications that generally reduce fuel consumption. This kind of comparison is not honest. They also calculate on maximum use of grid electricity, which is hardly a likely scenario in ordinary use. PHEVs are generally heavier (batteries) than their gasoline counterparts and usually have higher fuel consumption when operated on fuel. Thus, realistic in-use operation (with much lower use of grid electricity) might yield radically different results that would be less favorably for the PHEV version.

Albeit the “biased” conditions, we can see that CO2 is considerably lower for the hybrid. Good! This also increases the resource base for energy supply. Also good! However, when it comes to NOx, the hybrid does not seem to have an advantage on current EU grid mix. Furthermore, one could suspect that the “basis” for comparison (E 350 CGI, i.e. “Predecessor”) is of an older generation which presumably generally has higher NOx than a new engine generation. They do not even mention if the “Predecessor” is Euro 5 or Euro 6. One would assume the latter.

The current focus on EVs and PHEVs is contra productive unless we can clean up electricity generation. We clearly have a mismatch here in timing, since the trend of shutdown in nuclear power plants (which in itself is good because we want to avoid any further incidents) will make the EU grid power even “worse” on the short-term horizon. In summary, we should start by cleaning up our electricity generation.


O.k. How about we change from theoretical 100% hydro power to high blend ethanol fuel? Another 30% reduction. Wouldn't that be the biggest bang for the buck seeing that the fuel reduces NOx as well. The fuel fuel is less expensive per gallon and cheaper per mile to operate. Particularly with the advent of super premium blends of E30 that have zero mileage loss with higher efficient engine vehicles that are slated to be produced. Note that a farmers already produces most of our wind power. Meaning farms have high environmental value. They produce grain for ethanol and increasing percentage of energy crops for fuel. The efficiency of the farm, process plants, and fuel distribution is already on a steep trend line improvement. Much steeper than our grid improvements. We can utilize renewable power easier within this agricultural and fuel sector to produce negative carbon fuel. Fuel still is the highest BTU rated battery for the weight. It is extremely quick to recharge the car with fuel. The fuel car can go long distances and operate in harsh climates. Evaluate the near production cost effectiveness of mild hybrid and I don't think the grid assisted vehicle would ever catch up in low emissions. Double that benefit if these high blend ethanol engines optimized for ethanol fuel.

Electricity requires expensive distribution system that is frail and requires constant monitoring. It's hard to store electricity. When is the last time you carried a can of electricity back home for energy storage. Like the need for large lawn mowers or as extra fuel for stranded motorists. Do you have a five gallon can of electricity for the power generator when the lights go out? A can of electricity would be very attractive when stranded with low battery outboard at sea. Of course one can carry extra battery's. I'm not so sure that would be easy given the maintenance, weight, cost, and reliability as compared to dumping the gas can into the car and refill with fresh supply. Easy feat to check your gas can for energy reserve. Hard to know how much actual energy is within an old cold battery. Just saying.

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