More electricity, more efficiency

Stuttgart. Mercedes-Benz is massively picking up the pace with regard to the electrification of the automobile. By 2022, the entire Mercedes-Benz Cars product range is set to be electrified. This means that different electrified alternatives will be available in every segment – from smart to large SUV. There are plans for well in excess of 130 electrified vehicle variants, from 48-volt models to a wide range of plug-in hybrids to all-electric vehicles. The electric initiative is subsumed under the new technology and product brand EQ. EQ stands for "Electric Intelligence" and draws its strength from the two central Mercedes-Benz values: emotion and intelligence.

The first new third-generation plug-in hybrids labelled EQ Power are being delivered to customers now and over the coming months. Mercedes-Benz is initially using this type of powertrain in the C-Class, E-Class and S-Class. The 13.5 kWh battery in the hybrid vehicles is paired with either a petrol engine or, for the first time, a diesel engine. Another world first is the combination of plug-in-hybrid technology with a fuel cell in the new Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL (combined hydrogen consumption 0.34 kg/100 km, combined CO2 emissions 0 g/km, weighted electrical consumption 13.7 kWh/100 km) 3.

And Mercedes unveiled the precursor to its new EQ brand just a few weeks ago with the world premiere of the Mercedes-Benz EQC (combined electrical consumption 22.2 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions 0 g/km, provisional figures)1. By 2022, the EQ car family will include several more battery-electric models. The smart brand is going all out when it comes to electric mobility: smart is the first car brand with its sights set on a complete switchover from combustion engines to electric drive. All new smart cars sold in the USA, Canada and Norway since 2017 have electric drive, and this will also be the case in the rest of Europe by 2020. All other markets are set to follow shortly afterwards.

There is also the EQ Boost technology for the electrification of modern combustion engines through the integration of a 48-volt on-board electrical system. The integrated or belt-driven starter/alternator, depending on engine variant, is responsible for hybrid functions such as Boost or Recuperation, while allowing fuel savings that were previously reserved for high-voltage hybrid technology. In addition to reducing consumption and CO2, the technology enhances comfort and performance.

EQ encapsulates all the electric know-how of Mercedes-Benz Cars. Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, at the EQC world premiere: "The electric powertrain is an important component in the mobility of the future. Accordingly, we are investing more than ten billion euros in new EQ products in the next few years, and more than one billion in battery production." Battery-electric models are set to account for 15-25 percent of total unit sales at Mercedes-Benz Cars by 2025, depending on customer preferences and the development of the public infrastructure.

Carbon footprint: keeping an eye on everything

Vehicle development and production requires high expenditure by its very nature. Here the growth in electric mobility presents the automotive industry with new challenges. As a premium manufacturer, Mercedes-Benz aspires to develop products that are particularly environmentally compatible in their market segments. All available means have to be used for this. From the environmentally and socially compatible reduction in the use of raw materials to production and process technologies that are easy on the environment to recycling or remanufacturing: the company adopts a holistic approach and considers vehicle emissions and resource consumption over the entire lifecycle right from the start.

Sustainability is the clincher

Only an analysis of the vehicles' entire lifecycle provides a realistic picture of the electric drive's lifecycle assessment (LCA). This reveals the following: The lifecycle assessment (LCA) of the plug-in hybrids is already positive with respect to CO2 emissions. Despite the much higher expenditure during the production phase, the plug-in hybrid can substantially reduce CO2 emissions over its entire lifecycle and, in the best-case scenario, accounts for around 45 percent of the total emissions. This more than compensates for the extra 'investment' of CO2 emissions during production. 

EQ Power: plug-in hybrids represent a key technology

The market launch of the third-generation plug-in hybrids is another step within the Mercedes-Benz electric initiative. They offer customers the benefits of two worlds: in town they run in all-electric mode, while on long journeys they benefit from the range of the combustion engine. They make the vehicle more efficient overall because they can firstly recover energy and secondly allow the combustion engine to run in favourable operating ranges. EQ Power is also a guarantee of exceptional dynamism. Models currently on the road to series production:

The Mercedes-Benz C 300 de as Saloon or Estate (combined fuel consumption 1.6 l/100 km, combined CO2 emissions 42 g/km, combined electrical consumption 19.1-18.7 kWh/100 km)2 is a particularly dynamic example of third-generation plug-in-hybrid technology from Mercedes-Benz. It is combined with the highly sophisticated OM 654 four-cylinder diesel engine for the first time in the C-Class. The system output is 225 kW/306 hp. The result is a vehicle that can cover a distance of up to 57 km (NEDC) on electric power alone with zero local emissions. What's more, the combination of diesel engine and electric motor offers outstanding motoring comfort, exceptional pulling power and high efficiency thanks to the 9G-TRONIC 9-speed hybrid transmission. Delivery of the first models is scheduled for mid-2019.

The Mercedes-Benz E 300 e Saloon (combined fuel consumption 2.0 l/100 km, combined CO2 emissions 45 g/km, combined electrical consumption 14.5 kWh/100 km)3 and the E 300 de Saloon and Estate (combined fuel consumption 1.6 l/100 km, combined CO2 emissions 44-41 g/km, combined electrical consumption 19.7-18.7 kWh/100 km)2 are aimed at an important target group for Mercedes-Benz's comfortable executive cars: frequent drivers who firstly attach importance to long-distance comfort but secondly want to drive with zero emissions in inner-city areas, for example. Another advantage of the Mercedes-Benz E‑Class plug-in hybrids is a high towing capacity of up to 2100 kg if required.

The Mercedes-Benz S 560 e (combined fuel consumption 2.6-2.5 l/100 km, combined CO2 emissions 59-57 g/km, combined electrical consumption 20.2-20.0 kWh/100 km)2 was the first model in which the technology of the current plug-in-hybrid generation made its debut. The modified components and the intelligent powertrain management's new anticipatory functions give the customer enhanced electric performance and, last but not least, added convenience thanks to faster charging times. The efficiency of the 9G-TRONIC plug-in-hybrid transmission and a new lithium-ion battery in the luxury saloon are good for an all-electric range of up to 50 kilometres in the NEDC. The hybrid drive system in the S 560 e combines the 270 kW (367 hp) of the V6 petrol engine with 90 kW of EQ Power.

Predictive driving for economy: here the assistance system ECO Assist comprehensively supports the driver of the Mercedes-Benz EQ and EQ Power models by giving prompts when it is appropriate to come off the accelerator, e.g. because the vehicle is approaching a speed limit, and through functions such as 'gliding' and specific recuperation control. For this purpose, navigation data, traffic sign recognition and information from the intelligent safety assistants (radar and stereo camera) are linked and processed. For the first time, this involves the thermal balance of the combustion engine and exhaust aftertreatment functions such as regeneration of the diesel particulate filter also being controlled in such a way as to minimise consumption and emissions based on the travel distance.

The technical data for the plug-in-hybrid models at a glance:

 

C 300 de2

E 300 e3

E 300 de2

S 560 e2

Number of cylinders/arrangement/type

4/in-line/diesel

4/in-line/petrol

4/in-line/diesel

6/V/petrol

Displacement (cc)

1950

1991

1950

2996

Rated output of combustion engine (kW/hp at rpm)

143/194 at 3800

155/211 at 5500

143/194 at 3800

270/367 at 5500-6000

Rated torque of combustion engine (Nm at rpm)

400 at 1600-2800

350 at 1200-4000

400 at 1600-2800

500 at 1800-4500

Rated output of electric motor (kW)

90

90

90

90

System output (kW/hp)

225/306

235/320

225/306

350/476

System torque (Nm)

700

700

700

700

Acceleration 0-100 km/h (s)

5.6 (5.7)

5.7

5.9

5.0

Top speed (km/h)

250

250

250

250

Top speed, electric (km/h)

over 130

over 130

over 130

over 130

Combined fuel consumption from (l/100 km)

1.6-1.4 (1.6-1.5)

2.0

1.6

2.6-2.5

Combined CO2 emissions from (g/km)

42-38 (42-39)

45

44-41

59-57

Total battery capacity (kWh)

13.5

13.5

13.5

13.5

Combined electrical consumption (kWh/100 km)

18.7 (19.1)

14.5

18.7 (19.7)

20.2-20.0

Electric range (km)

up to 57 (56)

50

up to 54 (52)

up to 50

Figures in brackets: Estate

Two electrical energy sources: battery and fuel cell in the GLC F-CELL

The Mercedes-Benz GLC F‑CELL is a unique plug-in hybrid as it combines innovative fuel-cell and battery technologies for the first time: in addition to recharging at a power socket, it can refuel with pure hydrogen. Intelligent interplay between battery and fuel cell, long range, and short refuelling times make the GLC F-CELL a vehicle of high everyday practicality and also suitable for short and long-distance motoring. With 4.4 kg of hydrogen on board, the SUV generates enough energy for a range of up to 478 km1 in hybrid mode in the NEDC. When fully charged, the large lithium-ion battery alone delivers up to 51 km1 of range in the NEDC. An output of 155 kW guarantees both dynamic performance and locally emission-free driving pleasure. The market launch starts at the end of October.

Services: relaxed motoring with high-voltage technology

Mercedes-Benz is transforming itself from a pure vehicle manufacturer to a provider of mobility services. EQ with Mercedes me provides comprehensive services for the electric mobility of today and tomorrow. The intelligent services and functions extend from route planning to pre-entry climate control, new assistance functions and convenient charge management, depending on model. Via the EQ-optimised navigation, Mercedes-Benz customers can quickly find public charging stations and, starting with the EQC, have convenient access to the charging stations of different providers via Mercedes me Charge and benefit from an integrated payment function with easy accounting - including at the stations of IONITY, the European quick-charging network. The objective: relaxed, uncomplicated travel with transparency and planning certainty

Charging options: flexible, fast, uncomplicated

Whether at home via a wallbox, while shopping, at work or ultra-fast on the motorway: there are various ways to supply electric vehicles with power. Intelligently networked charging solutions focussed on the mobility and convenience needs of customers are an integral part of the new product and technology brand EQ. Each Mercedes-Benz and smart electric vehicle is equipped with charging technology that is suitable for the vehicle concept and intended purpose.

As standard, the Mercedes-Benz plug-In hybrids, the GLC F-CELL and the EQC are equipped with a water-cooled on-board charger (OBC) with an output of 7.4 kW, which makes them suitable for two-phase alternating current (AC) charging at home and at public charging stations. The smart brand's EQ models have a 4.6 kW on-board charger as standard, and can optionally be equipped with a particularly efficient AC quick-charger with a charging capacity of 22 kW.

Greater quick-charging options: Following the EQC market launch, Mercedes me Charge also allows access to the quick-charging stations of the pan-European network IONITY among others. The network uses the European Combined Charging System (CCS) charging standard. The charging capacity of up to 350 kW per charging point will make much shorter charging times possible for appropriately designed vehicles compared with currently available systems.

Production: EQ plants on three continents

Daimler and Mercedes-Benz Cars are also planning extensively upstream. Electric vehicles under the product and technology brand EQ will be integrated into the series production processes at the existing plants within Mercedes-Benz Cars. This is possible because the company made investments in maximum flexibility and hi-tech equipment offering trend-setting Industry 4.0 solutions at an early stage.

The GLC F-CELL is produced in Bremen with support from partner EDAG. The EQC is also produced at the Bremen plant. Alongside Bremen, the Sino-German production joint venture Beijing Benz Automotive Co. Ltd. (BBAC) is preparing to start production of the EQC for the local market in China. BBAC is part of the global production network of Mercedes-Benz Cars. Other production locations for future Mercedes-Benz EQ models are the Mercedes-Benz plants in Rastatt (Germany), Sindelfingen (Germany), Tuscaloosa (USA) and Hambach (France).

Battery know-how: the global battery production network

Local battery production is a major success factor in the electric initiative of Mercedes-Benz Cars, and the key component when it comes to servicing worldwide demand for electric vehicles flexibly and efficiently. In future the worldwide battery production network of Mercedes-Benz Cars will consist of eight plants on three continents, all responding flexibly and efficiently to market demand. The various locations supply the local vehicle production facilities and are able to export if required. All in all, the company will be investing over one billion euros in global battery production with two factories each in Kamenz, Saxony and Stuttgart-Untertürkheim (Germany), and one each in Beijing (China), Tuscaloosa (USA) and Bangkok (Thailand).

Network of expertise for fuel cells

When it comes to fuel-cell technology, too, Daimler works with a global network. The fuel-cell stack is produced by Mercedes-Benz Fuel Cell (MBFC) in Barnaby near Vancouver.The entire fuel-cell unit and the hydrogen storage system were developed by the Daimler subsidiary NuCellSys.The electrode-coated membrane of the fuel cell comes from Untertürkheim, while the tanks are from Mannheim.

Electric transport: Trucks, Buses and Vans also hooking up to the mains

Daimler has been gaining experience with electric trucks since 2010 already and since last year has the first all-electric production truck on the market and in customer hands: the light-duty Fuso eCanter truck. In the bus segment, the first Mercedes-Benz eCitaro models will start deliveries at the end of the year and will enter real-life operations in so-called customer-centric vehicle testing. In the van segment, the eVito from Mercedes-Benz Vans has been available to order since November 2017. The eSprinter will follow in 2019. And in August 2018 the "Concept Sprinter F-CELL" study showed how the hydrogen technology of the GLC F-CELL could be implemented for a camper van. The vehicles from Daimler Trucks, Daimler Buses and Mercedes-Benz Vans thus cover all urban transport with electric vehicles. And on 17 September, Mercedes-Benz Trucks started practical testing of its all-electric heavy-duty eActros truck. All in all, 20 customers from different industries will integrate the electric truck into their fleet. 

1 Figures for electrical consumption and CO2 emissions are provisional and were determined by the Technical Service. The range figures are also provisional. The EC type approval and a certificate of conformity with official figures are not yet available. Differences between the stated figures and the official figures are possible.

2 The stated figures were determined in accordance with the prescribed measuring method. These are the "NEDC CO2 figures" according to Art. 2 No. 1 Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/1153. The fuel consumption figures were calculated based on these figures.

3 Figures for fuel consumption, electrical consumption and CO2 emissions are provisional and were determined by the technical service for the certification process in accordance with the WLTP test method and correlated into NEDC figures. The EC type approval and a certificate of conformity with official figures are not yet available. Differences between the stated figures and the official figures are possible.

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