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Mercedes-Benz introducing A- and B-Class plug-in hybrid models

Mercedes‑Benz Cars is introducing plug-in hybrids under the EQ Power label in the A- and B-Class.

These new models, equipped with third-generation hybrid drive, include the A 250 e (combined fuel consumption 1.5-1.4 l/100 km (156.7-167.9 mpg US), combined CO2 emissions 34-33 g/km, combined electrical consumption 15.0-14.8 kWh/100 km); A 250 e Saloon (combined fuel consumption 1.4 l/100 km, combined CO2 emissions 33-32 g/km, combined electrical consumption 14.8 -14.7 kWh/100 km); and B 250 e (combined fuel consumption 1.6-1.4 l/100 km (146.9-167.9 mpg US), combined CO2 emissions 36-32 g/km, combined electrical consumption 15.4-14.7 kWh/100 km).

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The A 250 e and A 250 e Saloon can be ordered now in Europe at prices from €36,943.55 and €37,300.55. Sale of the B 250 e starts a few weeks later. Market launch of the models will take place this year.

The company aims to extend its plug-in offering to more than 20 model variants by 2020.

Highlights of the new models include:

  • Electric operating ranges of 70-75 km (43.5-46.6 miles)(NEDC)

  • Electric output 75 kW

  • System output 160 kW

  • System torque 450 N·m

  • Top speed 140 km/h (electric)/235 km/h (total; A-Class Compact Saloon)

  • Acceleration 0-100 km/h in 6.6 seconds (A-Class Compact Saloon)

  • Hardly any restrictions on the load compartment.

The vehicles belonging to Mercedes-Benz’s compact car family feature transversely mounted engines. A compact hybrid traction head has been developed for the 8F-DCT dual clutch transmission which follows the same technical principles as the corresponding component on the vehicles with a longitudinally installed engine.

It uses a permanently excited synchronous machine as an internal rotor. The stator is permanently integrated in the traction head housing, while the low-loss wet clutch is incorporated in the electric machine's rotor. On-demand stator and rotor cooling allow use of the electric motor's peak and continuous output without any problems.

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For the first time on a Mercedes-Benz vehicle, the combustion engine is started by the electric motor—the compact hybrids do not have a separate 12-volt starter.

The electric machine achieves 75 kW. Together with the 1.33-liter four-cylinder engine this adds up to a system output of 160 kW (218 hp) and a system torque of 450 N·m. A lithium-ion high-voltage battery with a total capacity of approximately 15.6 kWh is used as an electric energy storage unit. It can be charged at an external electric energy source.

The A 250 e and B 250 e can be charged with alternating or direct current. A corresponding vehicle socket is located in the right-hand side wall of the vehicles. This means that the compact plug-in hybrids can be charged at a 7.4 kW Wallbox with alternating current (AC) within 1 h 45 min from 10-100 percent SoC (Status of Charge). For direct-current charging (DC) the battery can be charged from 10 - 80 percent SoC in around 25 minutes.

The batteries are supplied by the wholly owned Daimler subsidiary Deutsche ACCUMOTIVE. The high-voltage battery is water-cooled and weighs approximately 150 kg.

An innovative exhaust system enables ingenious packaging: rather than extending to the end of the vehicle, the exhaust ends in a centrally positioned outlet under the vehicle floor, with the rear silencer housed in the transmission tunnel. Integrating the fuel tank into the axle installation space creates room beneath the rear seats for the high-voltage battery. This results in only minimal reduction in trunk capacity for the A 250 e and B 250 e compared to the sister models without hybrid engines.

Because the compact vehicles use third-generation plug-in technology, all of their functions are also available. These include in particular the intelligent, route-based operating strategy, taking factors such as navigation data, speed regulations and route into account. The operating strategy takes into account the entire planned route and prioritises the electric driving mode for the most sensible route sections in each case.

With the launch of MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) the previous plug-in operating modes of all EQ Power models have been converted to drive programs. That means that in every Mercedes-Benz plug-in hybrid the new drive programs “Electric” and “Battery Level” are available. This is the case from the outset for the compact models.

Maximum e-performance can be experienced in “Electric”. The combustion engine is only engaged if the driver uses kickdown on the accelerator pedal. In the “Electric” program the recuperation strength can also be selected via paddles behind the steering wheel. The paddles on the steering wheel enable the selection of five different recuperation levels (DAUTO, D+, D, D- and D--).

Comfort, ECO and Sport modes are also available. According to the given requirements, the driver is thus able to give priority to electric driving, place the emphasis on driving dynamics in combined drive mode or give preference to combustion mode in order to save electric range, for example.

A key comfort feature is pre-entry climate control before the vehicle is started, because the A 250 e and B 250 e have an electric refrigerant compressor. The pre-entry climate control can also be activated conveniently by smartphone. The trailer load of the compact hybrids is 1600 kg (3,527 lbs) (braked).

The MBUX infotainment system (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) assists the driver in finding charging stations. The MBUX system understands natural speech, allowing the driver to start a search simply by saying “Hey Mercedes, find charging stations nearby”.

Via Mercedes me Charge, drivers of a plug-in hybrid model can optionally obtain access to one of the world's largest charging networks, with more than 300 different operators in Europe (municipalities, car parks, motorways, shopping centres, etc.). With navigation, Mercedes-Benz customers can find these stations easily and can gain convenient access to the charging stations via the Mercedes me Charge card, the Mercedes me App or directly from the car.

No separate contracts are necessary for this: apart from simple authentication, customers benefit from an integrated payment function with simple billing after they have registered their payment method once. Each charging procedure is booked automatically. The individual charging processes are clearly listed in a monthly invoice.

By the end of 2019 Mercedes-Benz will have more than ten plug-in hybrids in the range from the compact car to the flagship Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The new plug-in hybrids of the S-, E- and C-Class with electric ranges of up to 50 km in accordance with NEDC were unveiled last year. In the C- and E-Class, Mercedes-Benz is the only manufacturer to combine the diesel engine with plug-in technology, offering this set-up in the Saloon and Estate versions of these two model series.

The update of the GLC with EQ Power is already in the starting blocks. Also equipped with the third-generation hybrid drivetrain, it provides the point of entry to the SUV segment. The next member of the EQ Power family will be the GLE; with a planned range of around 100 km (62 miles), it points the way to an even more powerful electric driving experience.

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A-Class plug-in hybrid.

Comments

Lad

The only reason hybrid are on the road is because the cost of batteries is too high; solve the problem of building cheaper, more energy dense battery packs and there will be no need to drag around a huge complicated internal combustion engine.

mahonj

I wish they would count CO2 properly for PHEVs.
When they are on battery, they use electricity, and this requires CO2 to generate it in nearly every country. So, if it gets 5 km / kWh, and 1 kWh causes 350 gms of co2, then you have to count 70 gms / km driven in the test. Then you wouldn't get such crazy figures liken 33-34 gms/km overall.
The main problem I can see here is that each country has different co2/kWh ratings for their electricity mix. In this case, you could use the average for the country, or the whole EU block.

Apart from that, (and the cost), I think PHEVs are a great idea. All small and medium runs can be done on electricity, and the odd long run can be done on liquid fuels. Thus, you get about 80% of the energy savings for 25% the battery cost and weight.

@Lad, I agree that the ICE is very complex. Perhaps if they built them as serial PHEV hybrids the engines could be simpler (as they would just be generators, running at a reduced RPM range).
+
The rate of improvement of batteries is very slow, this is why we still have PHEVs and other hybrids. (+ the Germans just love their beautiful engine technology.)

SJC

HEV/PHEV all help reduce the use of fossil fuels, good for them.

Engineer-Poet

My car has something like 1/8 of the battery capacity of a Model 3, 1/13 as much as a Model S.  PHEV may be more complex but the raw materials for batteries are scarce resources and you can electrify a lot more VMT with the same battery capacity using PHEVs than BEVs.

Ironically, this post describes a cam-less valve train which improves fuel economy at low power settings... the exact regime that PHEVs seldom operate in.  This is part of how they achieve as much as 30% greater fuel economy than ICEV even when the traction battery is depleted.

Indirect CO2 emissions are significant, but should be used to push everyone to STOP BURNING COAL (looking at you, Germany).

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