NEW TECHNOLOGY: The new Mercedes-Benz C350 e, which is a plug-in hybrid featuring progressive technology. Image: Newspress.
STUTTGART, Germany - Extra impetus for the Mercedes-Benz strategic hybrid initiative is that the company intends to have 10 plug-in hybrid models in showrooms by 2017.
That means the company will launch a new model with high-tech hybrid drive every four months.
Following the successful launch of the S500 plug-in hybrid, this month (March 2015) will see the C350 e, the second model to feature the progressive drive, reach dealers.
And what might happen next with the strategic hybrid initiative has just been demonstrated by the Concept V-ision e study at the Geneva auto show. Under the new Mercedes-Benz nomenclature, an "e" replaces the words plug-in hybrid.
A member of Daimler AG management responsible for group research and Mercedes-Benz cars development, Dr Thomas Weber, said: "Plug-in hybrids are a key technology on the road to the local emissions-free future of the automobile.
"Plug-in hybrids offer customers the best of both worlds; in the city they can drive in all-electric mode, on a long journey they benefit from the combustion engine's range. In addition, hybridisation makes the combustion engine more efficient and brings with it a special type of dynamic performance - making driving an absolute pleasure."
As the plug-in hybrid comes into its own especially in larger vehicles and with varying distance profiles, Mercedes-Benz is opting for this drive concept from the C Class upwards, which means the key technology will make its entry soon into the SUV segment with the new Mercedes-Benz GLE.
With plug-in hybrids, Mercedes is stepping up its drive to reduce CO2 emissions: at 129g/km, its European fleet value for 2014 was once again five grams/km less than the previous year. That, the company says, is equivalent to an average consumption of 5.1 litres/100 km. So, Mercedes says, it has reduced the CO2 emissions of its fleet in Europe by more than 40% in two vehicle generations.
CONCEPT V-ISION e:
With the Concept V-ision e, Mercedes has produced a preview at the Geneva auto show of the development potential of the V-Class, a further model series that enjoys powerful propulsion thanks to modular plug-in hybrid technology.
The two power sources - petrol engine and electric motor - delivers a system output of 245kW with a system torque of as much as 600Nm. This guarantees sporty performance - with a standard consumption of less than three litres of fuel per 100km. An all-electric range of up to 50km turns day-to-day short-distance driving into a local emissions-free experience.
C 350 e:
The first model to sport the new "e", the new Mercedes-Benz C350 e is a plug-in hybrid that combines efficiency and comfort. As either a sedan or estate, the performance of a sport car makes it a convincing proposition, especially in combination with a certified consumption of 2.1 litres/100km and an all-electric range of up to 30km. Its four-cylinder petrol engine, in conjunction with a powerful electric motor, gives it a total system output of 205kW with a system torque of 600Nm.
S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID:
The S500 plug-in hybrid blends an ultra-modern hybrid drive with unique innovations and the luxurious equipment of an S Class. With a system output of 325kW/650Nm, this S500 accelerates to 100 km/h in 5.2sec and has an all-electric range of up to 33km. The certified consumption is 2.8 litres/100 km, equivalent to emissions of 65g CO2/km.
Like all Mercedes-Benz vehicles, the hybrid models of the C and S classes come with environmental certificates which document the models' environmental performance from development through to recycling, across the entire life cycle.
After the E300 BlueTEC hybrid, S400 hybrid, S300 BlueTEC hybrid, C300 BlueTEC hybrid and S500 plug-in hybrid, the C350 e is the latest hybrid from Mercedes Benz.
In the years to come, the main emphasis as regards alternative drives will be on plug-in hybrids.
Growing range: all current hybrid and electric drive vehicles 2012: E 300 BlueTEC hybrid2013: SLS AMG Coupé electric drive2013: S 400 hybrid2013: S 300 BlueTEC hybrid2014: C 300 BlueTEC hybrid2014: B-Class electric drive2014: S 500 plug-in hybrid2015: C 350 e