MONDAY, JUNE 13, 2016
Over the next two years, Daimler is slated to invest an unprecedented seven billion euro (approximately $7.8 billion in US) to offer all models with electrified powertrains. Usually, such a large sum of money would be invested over a long period of time, but Daimler is leading the industry in doing so over a mere two years.
According to Professor Dr. Thomas Weber, a member of the Board of management of Dimler AG, stated, “…no other manufacturer offers a comparable range of electrified vehicles and solutions in the field of electric mobility. The spectrum ranges from the smart city runabout and attractive Mercedes-Benz passenger cars to buses, coaches, and trucks of the Fuso brand. We will electrify all Mercedes-Benz passenger car model series step by step.“
The Mercedes-Benz name will not be compromised by lack of power, as stated in a press release, but will instead offer customers a broader range of engine options, keeping in mind the specific needs of each model and the desires of the purchaser. Mercedes-Benz will offer a multitude of plug-in hybrids and expand carbon-free options by implementing emission-free vehicles into every realm of their model options including buses and commercial vehicles. The car maker recognizes a need for more innovative technology within the automotive industry though, and is making great strides toward the future.
Mercedes-Benz will unveil a high-performance four-door, four-seat, all-wheel drive GT electric only saloon with 500 km range at the Paris motor show in October.
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All Mercedes-Benz model series will be electrified
The introduction of the new engine generation once more blurs the lines between petrol and hybrid models. Perspectively, all Mercedes-Benz passenger cars will be electrified, because the company is at the same time systematically advancing the development of the 48-volt on-board power supply. The technology will be introduced in various model series step by step. The 48-volt on-board power supply offers four times the power of its 12-volt predecessor at unchanged currents, but without the additional safety architecture of a high-voltage system. Furthermore, this low-voltage system makes fuel savings possible that previously were the exclusive domain of the high-voltage hybrid technology. That is because the important hybrid functions “energy recovery”, “boost” and “starting off and manoeuvring in electric mode” can be realised for the first time without high-voltage components.
Plug-in hybrids represent a key technology on the road to a locally emission-free future for the motor car. This is because they offer customers the best of both worlds; in the city they can drive in all-electric mode, while on long journeys they benefit from the combustion engine’s range. Hybridisation also makes the internal combustion engine more efficient, and ensures more dynamic performance.
The Mercedes-Benz plug-in hybrid initiative is in full swing: following the S 500 e, C 350 e (Saloon, Estate and long-wheelbase version for China), the GLE 500 e 4MATIC and the GLC 350 e 4MATIC, models number seven and eight will arrive in dealer showrooms still in 2016, the GLC Coupé 350 e 4MATIC and the E 350 e. Mercedes-Benz already has the widest range of plug-in hybrid models today. All in all, the hybrid range from Mercedes-Benz presently comprises 13 models. In the E 350 e, the combination of the 9G-TRONIC plug-in-hybrid transmission and the latest generation of electric motors ensures top marks for fuel consumption, ride comfort and dynamics. The next major technological leap will be made in 2017, starting with the facelift of the S 500 e: for the first time, all-electric operating ranges exceeding 50 km will be made possible by an advancement of the lithium-ion battery together with a further optimised intelligent operating strategy.
[still, keep in mind that Tesla motors sedans travel 400-500 km on a charge, not just the 50 km that Mercedes is planning and bragging about, AND all Tesla Motors vehicles are all-electric, not hybrids]
The smart fortwo electric drive made Daimler the first manufacturer to offer a series-produced electric vehicle in 2007. Today, the company will soon have more than a dozen vehicles on the market including vans and commercial vehicles that are capable of emission-free driving. The range is going to be significantly expanded in the near future. The fourth generation of the smart as a fortwo and also as a forfour for the first time ever is being launched onto the market before the end of the year. The smart fortwo coupé electric drive, smart fortwo cabrio electric drive and smart forfour electric drive are making their global débuts at the Paris Motor Show in September 2016. … The new smart fortwo electric drive is being launched onto the US market by the end of this year, where approximately 25 percent of all battery-driven smarts have been sold recently. This will be followed by the European market launch of the two- and four-seat models in early 2017.
This will be followed by the Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL with innovative plug-in fuel cell technology from 2017. Fuel-cell technology is an integral part of Daimler’s powertrain strategy. The benefits are obvious: a long operating range and short refuelling stops as well as a broad spectrum of possible uses ranging from passenger cars to urban buses. A new generation of vehicles is being launched from 2017 on the basis of the Mercedes-Benz GLC. The Mercedes-Benz engineers joined forces with partners in the Daimler network of expertise to develop a new, compact fuel-cell system which for the first time fits into conventional engine compartments. The GLC F-CELL also boasts another innovation for the next generation of fuel cell vehicles in the form of a large lithium-ion battery. Rated at around 9 kWh, the battery serves as an additional energy source for the electric motor and can be charged externally by means of plug-in technology for the first time. The combination of the fuel cell and battery systems in concert with the refinement of the intelligent operation strategy offers the best possible efficiency and comfort. With this set-up, the GLC F-CELL achieves a combined range of around 500 km in the NEDC.
The light-duty Fuso Canter E-Cell truck has been undergoing commercial fleet testing since 2015. This was initially carried out in Portugal where they are produced, and five of the vehicles have also been on the road for the City of Stuttgart and the logistics company Hermes since April this year. Instead of a diesel, an electric powertrain with a strong permanent-magnet motor delivers an output of 110 kW (150 hp) to the rear axle via a single-speed transmission. 650 newton metres of torque allow the six-tonne vehicle to accelerate almost as fast as a passenger car, and are available from the very first second of driving.
Dozens of fuel cell-powered Mercedes-Benz Citaro buses have already been proving their mettle for twelve transport operators on three continents since 2003. The next milestones on the way to the future are the Citaro E-CELL (battery-powered) and Citaro F-CELL (fuel cell-powered). Both are based on a shared e-platform, which allows tailored electromobility for any city and even any bus line. The capacity of the battery and charging technology are adjusted to suit the specific requirements. The forecast: By the year 2030, 70 percent of all newly acquired Citaro buses will run on electricity with zero local emissions.
Daimler will shortly be offering Inductive charging … in 2017. The use of the technology is initially planned for the facelift model of the Mercedes-Benz S 500 e. New for cable-connected charging, too: from 2018, direct current charging based on the CCS (Combined Charging System) standard will gradually find its way into all electric vehicles from Mercedes-Benz.This will enable fast charging in public at a much greater capacity than is possible today.
With its subsidiary Deutsche ACCUMOTIVE founded in 2009, the company is the only German manufacturer today with its own battery production, and is currently expanding its capacities on a broad basis with an investment of 500 million euro.
Further technological leaps where batteries are concerned are expected in the coming decade through the launch of post-lithium-ion systems, with lithium-sulphur batteries currently being the most promising.
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