Road #1: Electromobility: Electric pioneer Mercedes-Benz working hard to expand scope of zero CO2 mobility
The smart fortwo electric drive made Daimler the first manufacturer to offer a series-produced electric vehicle in 2007. And now smart is planning to become the first automotive brand to switch completely from the internal combustion engine to electric drive systems: from 2020 the company plans to exclusively sell smart models with battery-electric drive in Europe and the USA. With preproduction models such as the GLC F-CELL, Daimler is also sending a clear signal about the future of fuel cell technology. Another important step for Daimler is the development of a multi-model electric vehicle architecture for battery-powered vehicles. The first series-produced model of the new EQ product brand, the EQC, is set to be produced at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Bremen from 2019.
CASE – these letters are shaping the future of mobility. They stand for the fields of networking (Connected), autonomous driving (Autonomous), flexible use (Shared & Services) and electric drive systems (Electric). The four CASE fields are an integral part of the corporate strategy of Daimler AG. The aim is to shape intuitive mobility as a result of intelligently interlinking CASE topics.
Mercedes-Benz is pursuing a holistic approach to powertrain electrification. The EQ brand not only involves a range of vehicles, Mercedes-Benz is also developing a holistic ecosystem, which, alongside the vehicles themselves, also comprises a comprehensive electric mobility offer. This extends from intelligent services and energy storage units for private and commercial customers to charging technologies and sustainable recycling.
The Concept EQ (Paris Motor Show 2016) – a study with the look of a sporty SUV coupé – heralded the launch of the new EQ product and technology brand. At the recent International Motor Show in Frankfurt, Mercedes-Benz used its Concept EQA to show how its EQ strategy could be applied in the compact vehicle category. Featuring one electric motor at the front axle and one at the rear, the electric athlete generates a system output of over 200 kW. The drive characteristics can be altered by varying the permanent all-wheel drive's front to rear torque distribution. The Concept EQA illustrates the selected program on a unique virtual radiator grille.
"Our electric initiative is gathering pace: by 2022 Mercedes-Benz Cars will have launched more than ten fully electric vehicles on the market. The Mercedes-Benz Concept EQA, meanwhile, serves to show how serious we are about electric mobility across our entire portfolio", according to Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.
smart: transition to electric drive systems by 2020
The smart electric drive (combined power consumption: 13.1 - 12.9 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 0 g/km) makes joining the world of electric mobility more attractive than ever. This is because it combines the agility of the smart with local emission-free driving – the ideal match for urban mobility. Fourth-generation electric driving pleasure can be enjoyed not just in the smart fortwo coupé and smart fortwo cabrio, but now also for the first time in the four-seater smart forfour.
The market introduction of the latter model in spring 2017 means that smart is the only manufacturer to offer its full model range with a choice of a combustion engine or a fully battery-electric drive system. And now smart is planning to become the first automotive brand to switch completely from the internal combustion engine to electric drive systems: from 2020 the company plans to exclusively sell smart models with battery-electric drive in Europe and the USA. The rest of the world is expected to follow soon afterwards.
The smart vision EQ fortwo design study offers a glimpse into the slightly more distant future, demonstrating a new solution for an individual, highly flexible and extremely efficient form of public transport. The autonomous and electrically powered study puts forward a coherent concept for the future of urban mobility and for how carsharing might then work. It picks passengers up in variable locations, completely without the need for either a steering wheel or pedals. In the process, it is the first vehicle to embody all four pillars of Daimler's CASE strategy: "Connected", "Autonomous", "Shared" and "Electric".
GLC F-CELL: first fuel cell vehicle with plug-in technology launches pilot production
At this year's IAA in Frankfurt, Mercedes-Benz presented preproduction models of the new Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL as the next milestone on the road to zero emissions motoring. With EQ Power as its technical designation, the latest electric model in the Mercedes-Benz range to be destined for subsequent series production is twice as electrifying, for, in a world first, it is set to combine innovative fuel-cell and battery technology in a plug-in hybrid: in addition to hydrogen, the all-electric variant of the popular SUV will also run on electric power.
Intelligent interaction between battery and fuel cell, along with short refuelling times, will in future make the GLC F-CELL a vehicle of high everyday practicality boasting properties for long-distance motoring. With 4.4 kg of hydrogen on board, the preproduction model produces sufficient energy for a range of up to 437 km as part of NEDC. F-CELL drivers will also benefit from a range of up to 49 km as part of NEDC thanks to the large lithium-ion battery. An output of 147 kW guarantees both dynamic performance and locally zero emissions driving pleasure. In unveiling the preproduction vehicles of the Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL, Daimler is taking another important step in the systematic application of its corporate strategy, "CASE".
Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6: design study for an extravagant cabriolet with electric drive system
The Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 Cabriolet has also been designed as an electric car. Thanks to its four compact, permanent-magnet, synchronous electric motors, it features all-wheel drive. The slim battery is installed in the underbody. The drive system generates an output of 550 kW (750 hp). This not only allows performance characteristics typical of a sports car (acceleration from 0-100 km/h in under four seconds, top speed electronically limited to 250 km/h) but also a range of over 500 kilometres as part of NEDC (over 200 miles according to EPA).
The Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 Cabriolet is a car which, with its sensual, emotionally appealing design and innovative technical concept solutions, defines the ultimate in luxury of the future. At the same time the two-seater model pays homage to the glorious "automotive haute couture" of hand-finished, exclusive convertibles.
EQ Ready app: ready for electric mobility?
The new EQ Ready app helps motorists decide whether it makes sense for them personally to switch to an electric car or hybrid. The smartphone app can record real journeys made by users, analyse their everyday mobility behaviour and compare it with numerous parameters of electric and hybrid vehicles. This makes it possible to try out e-mobility in a virtual, yet realistic way. The EQ Ready app also recommends which alternatively powered model by smart or Mercedes-Benz best matches the user's individual characteristics.
The EQ Ready app can now be downloaded free of charge for iOS and Android in English and German. It is initially available for the German market; further countries and features are being planned. The smartphone records the journeys made by users in their car (of any make). This generates a realistic usage profile that is significantly more meaningful than a once-only test drive.
charge@Daimler: using electromobility to commute
Thanks to the "charge@Daimler" project the company is bundling its activities to establish an intelligent charging infrastructure for all of the company's sites in Germany. Employees at Daimler sites in 24 German cities can already rely on comprehensive charging solutions. Significantly more than 1,000 charging points have been set up since 2013 in collaboration with long-term partner innogy SE, a subsidiary of energy provider RWE. By the end of 2018 the network will have grown to more than 2,000 charging points – in Sindelfingen alone, one of Daimler's largest production plants worldwide, more than 200 charging points will be added next year. Measures include equipment for employee parking, multi-storey car parks and customer centres as well as an electrification of internal development test benches and test facilities. Daimler has already been providing managers with electric company vehicles with a focus on plug-in hybrids since the start of 2016. Daimler AG employees have access to partly and fully electric vehicles at appealing rates thanks to the employee vehicle program. The company is gradually enhancing this range of services. Daimler is consequently underlining its pioneering role and takes an important step towards meeting its strategic alignment targets.
Vans: electrically powered versions of both Vito and Sprinter
Between now and 2019 Mercedes-Benz Vans will be investing around €150 million into the electrification of its commercial product range based on the Vito and Sprinter. The batteries for the fully electrically powered vehicles will be produced at the Accumotive GmbH subsidiary in Kamenz, in the German region of Saxony. Powertrains are also an in-house development.
The first customer has already been found - logistics company Hermes. Furthermore, Mercedes-Benz Vans has entered into a joint venture arrangement with the Via ridesharing start-up. This cooperation envisages elements including the use of battery-electric and thus locally emission-free Vito vehicles.
Commercial vehicles: electric trucks and FUSO eCanter
Mercedes-Benz Trucks plans to introduce the first all-electric, heavy-duty distribution truck to the market in a small-series production run before the end of this year. Following the presentation at IAA 2016 of Mercedes-Benz's electrically powered truck with a permissible GVW of 25 metric tons and a range of up to 200 km, this year will see the first vehicles being handed over to customers. The vehicle will initially be supplied to customers in Germany in low double-digit figures - and subsequently also to elsewhere in Europe.
Mercedes-Benz's electrically powered truck is just one part of a wider strategic, electric vehicle initiative by Daimler Trucks. The FUSO eCanter is the first fully electric, lightweight truck to launch into volume production and vehicles will be delivered to customers in the USA, Europe and Japan before the end of this year. Daimler's subsidiary Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC) plans to supply a total of 500 trucks from this production generation to a range of selected customers over the next few years. Large-scale production is scheduled to start in 2019.
During the official market launch, FUSO was also able to announce the first commercial customer in the USA: logistics company UPS will be using the electric trucks to ensure that its future deliveries are made in an even more environmentally friendly and sustainable way.
 Measurements undertaken in the presence of TÜV