Merc's 'Big Brother' charging house

2011-12-09 09:49

BERLIN, Germany - Many automakers will develop or launch battery cars over the next few years but, despite the fuel-saving technology, they will still have one major... recharging.

So, Daimler will test its inductive charging technology with a modified Mercedes-Benz A-Class E-CELL under the wordy project title "Effizienzhaus-Plus mit Elektromobilität" (roughly translates to House-Plus efficiency with electric mobility).

With the inductive charging principle, an electric car fitted with a special charging coil merely has to be positioned over a charging coil in the ground to start the charging process without the need for cable contact.

The electric car will be deployed in March 2012, the energy-efficient house in this pilot project is intended to generate more electricity than it consumes. This surplus electricity can be used to recharge battery-powered electric vehicles, for example – the home as a personal filling station.


The entire building has been designed along energy-efficient lines with both the inductive and the cable-based charging devices integrated within the architecture.

A family of four will live at the house on an experimental basis for 15 months, beginning in March 2012. During their stay at the house they will use the A-Class E-CELL as well the second-generation electric Smart ForTwo and the Smart eBike.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class E-Cell

CHOICE OF BATTERY VEHICLES: The family living in the efficiency house will have their pick of three battery vehicles including a Mercedes-Benz new electric A-Class.

The charging infrastructure of the house includes a wallbox for conductive charging and a charging coil in the garage. Alternatively, the family will also be able to charge all the vehicles at public charging stations or by plugging them into a standard domestic power outlet.

In addition to charging with a cable, the E-CELL can also be charged inductively. This involves non-contact transmission of the charging current by means of an electromagnetic field. A special display system helps the driver to manoeuvre the vehicle into the ideal position over the charging coil.

Daimler AG's Herbert Kohler said: "We are keen to find out how the inductive charging process proves in daily use."

"We have already demonstrated the essential feasibility of the technology. The experience in day-to-day use will now provide important pointers for the further course of development. A number of technical and financial issues also need to be resolved before we can really assess the marketability of this technology."