Mercedes B-Class Based Denza 400 Goes 249 Miles On A Charge, Will Next 250e Do The Same?

7 months ago by Mark Kane 19

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Daimler and BYD’s joint venture has released an improved version of Denza electric car, which is based on the current B-Class EV found in the Mercedes lineup today.

In the new Denza 400 the battery capacity has been increased from 47.5 kWh to 62 kWh, and now the range is rated at 400 km (249 miles). On the Euro/NEDC scale, the new Denza is rated for 352km/220 miles.

Given what we know of the platform (and the Chinese/NEDC rating system), we would bet that real world range is closer to 300 km (186 miles); however regardless of that, adding 14 more kWhs into the same package is a significant change.

As noted earlier, the Denza EV is based on the Mercedes-Benz B-Class, which in Europe and U.S. has electric version developed together with Tesla Motors. That model’s 36 kWh of battery translates to up to ~104 miles (167 km) of range when utilizing the entire battery.

Editor’s Note:  We know the B-Class 250 is rated by the EPA at 87 miles of range, but it is one of those odd “quirks” of the older system whereby if all the range/100% of the battery wasn’t available by default, the lessor number applied.

The Denza 400 could therefore be foreshadowing the B250e’s long-ago promised range/battery upgrade over the current edition.  The Denza 400 has also upgraded electric motor and electronic control.

In 2015, 2,888 Denza EV were sold. After first seven months of this year sales amounted 984 (+33% year-over-year).

Here is a chart we found on the dimensions and specs for the upgraded model:

Denza 400/62 kWh Specs

Denza 400/62 kWh Specs

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Daimler strengthens dedication to emission-free mobility with new DENZA 400 EV for China

Daimler extends its portfolio of new energy vehicles (NEV) with the introduction of the DENZA 400, the company’s “Made in China, for China” electric vehicle from Shenzhen BYD Daimler New Technology Co., Ltd. (BDNT). The DENZA 400 offers upgraded battery, electric motor and electronic control providing customers an electric range of up to 400 km on a full charge. The vehicles are manufactured at BDNT’s independent production line at the BYD base in Shenzhen. The new flexible production line will increase capacity based on future market demand. Today’s start of production of another NEV underlines Daimler’s comprehensive approach in the area of electric mobility.

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“Our joint venture BDNT unites the best of Sino-German cooperation in new energy vehicles. Already offering safe, reliable and convenient electric vehicles from and for China, the DENZA 400 with upgraded range offers our Chinese customers a further improved driving experience,” said Hubertus Troska, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Greater China. “We are confident about the future prospect of new energy vehicles in the country. Daimler will continue to invest in research and development of efficient and eco-friendly new energy vehicles, which represent a key pillar of our China growth strategy.”

In addition to electric vehicles, Daimler’s strategy in China to reduce emissions and promote environmental responsibility includes an increasing offering of plug-in hybrid vehicles. In 2013, Mercedes-Benz became the first automaker to offer petrol, diesel and hybrid models at the same time in China. The E 400 L Hybrid was the first locally-produced hybrid from a premium brand, while the smart electric drive (electric power consumption combined 15.1 kWh/100km/ CO2 emissions combined 0g/km) was the first imported premium all-electric vehicle from Europe.

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The DENZA 400 – convenient emission-free mobility for day-to-day use

The DENZA 400 features improved battery density achieved through an upgraded production process that increases the battery’s capacity from 47.5 kWh to 62 kWh while maintaining the original size. With an upgraded range of up to 400 km, most Chinese consumers, who generally drive 50 to 80 km per day, will only need to recharge their DENZA 400 once per week.

The first generation of DENZA was launched in 2014 as the premiere offering from the first Sino-German joint venture dedicated to electric vehicles in China. With nearly 3,000 units sold in its first year in 2015, DENZA quickly became the choice for those seeking convenient and reliable emission-free mobility.

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19 responses to "Mercedes B-Class Based Denza 400 Goes 249 Miles On A Charge, Will Next 250e Do The Same?"

  1. VazzedUp says:

    So the Tesla 60kWh gets 206 miles of range, but you’re expecting this 62kWh to get only 186, 20 mile knock for smaller car, probably a little less aero but a slightly bigger battery? Would be nice to have it here so we could get a good rating.

    1. cros13 says:

      The Denza uses a heavier LiFe battery pack. That plus the aerodynamics accounts for the difference.

      1. Jay Cole says:

        VazzedUp,

        Like the 250e, there is some serious aero hit being taken here and it weighs a ton (well more than a couple actually). The original Denza is actually a car we have been to China to check out (and later drive). Our range estimate (if anything) is likely a bit high.

        And its not a small EV, here is the new spec chart I came across (below..and will add into story) on the Denza

        As a comparison, here is the Bolt/Tesla Model S splits.

        (Bolt/Denza/Model S)

        Length: 4166/4642/4970
        Width: 1765/1850/2187
        height: 1594/1642/1445
        Weight: 3600/4800/4600-4900

        I will say the Denza’s cd is not all that bad, it isn’t Model s low (.24) but we have heard it’s around .27ish.

        1. VazzedUp says:

          Thanks,
          So this more resembles the Model X
          Denza / Model X
          Length 4642 / 5036
          Width 1850 / 2270
          Height 1642 / 184
          Weight 4700 / 5271-5381
          Range 186 / 200
          Drag Coefficient for the X is 0.24, whilst the best info I can find for the Denza is that it bests the B-Class which is at 0.26, so the two are likely comparable.

          I know there are lots of factors that help extend range, but in this case, a heavier, taller, wider car with likely the same cd, gets 7% greater range?

          Just seems odd.

    2. Tech01x says:

      It could simply be battery chemistry. LiFePO4 is commonly used in China and is a vastly lower specific energy than advanced NMC or the advanced NCA.

      1. Filip Bjurling says:

        Why would the chemistry matter. 60kWh is 60kWh. If you are talking about weight though, that could be a factor. A very small one though since 100kg more or less barely does anything for consumption.

        1. Ambulator says:

          It could well be 200 kg. Lithium iron phosphate is HEAVY. Still, that would affect the handling more than the range.

        2. JakeY says:

          Except 60kWh is not 60kWh. That rating is typically given at a low discharge rate, full 100% DOD, ideal temperature conditions, and a brand new battery from the factory (Chinese battery makers may further exaggerate some of these metrics). When driven in a car, all those variables change and you may get considerably less than that rating (biggest hit is usually from a lower DOD; a poor battery chemistry may have higher internal resistance and significantly lower capacity at higher discharge rates).

          1. Terawatt says:

            You’re flogging a dead horse and making desperate arguments. 60 kWh is indeed 60 kWh – for the purposes of this discussion. Yes, different chemistries can have different characteristics with respect to how C rate relates to heat losses, but it is utterly, utterly insignificant to explain the horrendously awful efficiency of this vehicle.

            I am shocked at the NEDC rated range. If the Leaf manages to get 250 km of fantasy range from 30 kWh, Mercedes should manage at least close to 500 km out of 62 kWh. Instead they manage 350!

            Mercedes = losers. Evidently.

        3. tosho says:

          Well, you are totally wrong and you have no idea how li-ion batteries work.
          First: they are not telling if the 60kWh is the total capacity of the pack or the usable part. (most EVs have a buffer of some kWh to cover battery degradation and protect the battery from overcharging)
          Second: You can charge any li-ion battery to a much higher voltage than the nominal one and stuff a lot more electricity into it this way. And by this have a great initial capacity and a battery life of only 100 cycles for example. Most Chinese manufacturers of cheap electronics do exactly this. With their cars it is probably the same.

      2. Viking79 says:

        LiFePO4 chemistry is lower energy density than some other Li-ion chemistries, but it is also higher power output and longer cycle lifespan. It has an advantage for commercial vehicles that need more battery cycles and possibly higher power output.

  2. Filip Bjurling says:

    i think model 3 will have around 55kWh.

    The Cd can definitely do all of it. 0,2 in Cd for the Tesla compared to maybe 0,3 for the Denza is a lot. Especiallt at higher speeds when almost all of the resistance is drag. The Denza could probably use around 30 % more energy.

    Other things could be better/lower rolling resistance for the tesla and more efficient motor and especially more usable energy in the battery pack.

    1. Terawatt says:

      Important as the Cd is, it’s only half the story. It tells you how aerodynamical a shape is – but NOT how much drag it produces. You can scale up an object a hundred times and increase its drag a hundred times with no change to Cd.

      This car probably has a high Cd AND a large “effective area”, combining to make a lot of drag.

  3. Bill Howland says:

    If a Tesla gets 206, what would a more efficient Bolt get?

    1. Terawatt says:

      What makes you think Bolt is more efficient? And which Tesla are you referring to?

      With a Cd of 0,32 the Bolt won’t be very impressive in terms of highway efficiency. (As I’m sure you’re aware, air resistance is proportional to the Cd and the effective area, and proportional to the square of the speed.) On flat highways at constant speed the mass becomes almost unimportant, because 80% of the energy goes to overcoming air resistance and only 20% to overcoming rolling resistance (which does increase proportionally to mass).

      At low speeds mass matters much more – even if going at constant speed – because rolling resistance accounts for a bigger share of total energy. In stop and go traffic mass matters even more because you can at best regenerate 50% when braking – leading to repeatedly expending energy to get up to speed and losing much of it slowing down. Elevation changes are the most complicated. You store basically 100% of the energy expended to lift the mass as potential energy. If it is a gentle slope down again (so you don’t need to brake at all, including no regen – in practice, roll down in neutral) you’ll get it all back again. If it’s a little steeper and you use some regen you’ll lose half the braking energy or more to heat. If it’s very steep and mechanical braking also is needed you still regenerate some, but lose half of that braking energy plus all of the mechanical braking energy to heat.

      All of which means the facelifted, improved-aero Leaf and the 2017 Zoe, both with 40 kWh useable (~46 kWh gross), will likely get very close to the Bolt on highways at sustained high speed. And they will have a significant cost advantage. The Bolt gets competition from the get-go, and the 2017 BMW i3 and VW e-Golf already look uncompetitive (or will after Paris, when this all of this will be official).

      1. Bill Howland says:

        As one example, the Bolt’s drive motor is more efficient. It has no rotor current heating losses simply because it has no rotor currents, unlike all Tesla products to date.

  4. JIMIJON says:

    Bolt is aprox.Half the size of a Model 3 so it should do about Par…

    1. Terawatt says:

      Right. Except that the Bolt’s interior cabin volume is actually as big as Model S.

      Tesla is king in many respects. Efficiency isn’t one of them.

  5. Terawatt says:

    Leaf 30 kWh NEDC: 250 km
    Merc 62 kWh NEDC: 356 km

    From 106.67% more energy Merc can go 42.4% longer.

    It is shockingly bad!