Mercedes-Benz Says Its Future Plug-In Hybrids Will Have More Electric Range

2 years ago by Mark Kane 25

Mercedes-Benz GLE 500e

Mercedes-Benz GLE 500e

Mercedes-Benz C-Class C 350 Plug-In Hybrid

Mercedes-Benz C-Class C 350 Plug-In Hybrid

Mercedes-Benz outlined plans for electric range increase of its plug-in hybrid models.

The first batch of 10 plug-in hybrids will be released by the end of 2017, but with low range like 12 miles (<20 km) EPA.

The next-generation of M-B plug-in hybrids after that will have 30-50 km (19-31 miles) of all-electric range.

And the next generation after the next generation – up to 80-100 km (50-62 miles), according to development director Dr. Thomas Weber.

“Then we work on the extension of the range based on battery development. We are working on plug-in hybrid systems based on the S-Class technology for extended range.

“The next-generation vehicle will overcome the 30km to 50km hurdle and then the next generation after that will be 80-100km when they run as pure electric cars.”

Well, just for comparison – the longest range plug-in hybrid is the 2016 Chevrolet Volt and it’s rated for 53 miles (85 km) today.

Source: motoring.com.au via Green Car Reports

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25 responses to "Mercedes-Benz Says Its Future Plug-In Hybrids Will Have More Electric Range"

  1. Speculawyer says:

    Well they better because your competitors certainly will have more range.

  2. pjwood1 says:

    Mercedes is like a 2yr old on the toilet. “C’mon, C’mon. that’s it. I knew you could do it. Your third!!”

  3. IQ130 says:

    With prices for battery cells going down to 145 dollar per kwh in 2017 I will skip the plug-in hybrids and opt for a full electric car.

    1. Speculawyer says:

      That is my plan as well. But I’m fine with a car.

      However, SUVs, minivans, pickup trucks and other large & unaerodynamic vehicles will probably be PHEVs until battery prices really drop low.

  4. GrokGrok says:

    Why they don’t just skip to phase 3, with 50-62 mile AER batteries? I’m sure that if GM could do it right now in the Volt, Mercedes could price the batteries into the cost of a Benz. That would allow almost all vehicle trips/miles to be on battery, and whet appetites among the drivers for pure EVs.

    1. Dan says:

      Volt’s demographic probably more likely to ignore large intrusion into cabin.

  5. MikeG says:

    Luxury buyers are today ditching ICE for all-electric vehicles.

    MB’s PHEV plan calls for AER:
    Gen1 (2017): 12 miles
    Gen2 (20xx): 31 miles
    Gen3 (2xxx): 62 miles

    Mercedes will lose ground in the high-end luxury market to BMW, Tesla and others if they don’t offer BEVs.

    1. Speculawyer says:

      Yeah, that is a very good point. I think PHEVs will be the way to create plug-in SUVs, minivans, pickups, etc.

      But if you are going to be in the higher end luxury market where you charge $70K to $100K then you can afford to stuff the big vehicle with a massive battery pack in order to get good range. And by getting rid of the ICE, you make it more of real luxury ride because you can all these great benefits of going 100% electric:
      -No lurching transmission
      -Silent
      -No oil changes
      -No smog checks
      -No vibration
      -No stinky exhaust
      -No fill-ups of stinky gasoline
      -Less maintenance
      -Able to fill up at home
      -100% Torque at 0 RPM

      These are all things luxury cars should be but can’t with an ICE.

      1. ModernMarvelFan says:

        “-100% Torque at 0 RPM”

        I think the better way to express it is “instant torque”…

        Since nobody drives around an ICE with 0rpm at the engine (except for stop/start system which is often annoying), so it would be pointless comparison.

        1. ModernMarvelFan says:

          And even if you talk about 0rpm at the wheel, then ICE can technically “brake torque” with revving engine but 0rpm at the wheel…

          Either way, “instant torque” is better way at describing it.

  6. Chip says:

    As a long time Mercedes driver, Mercedes policy is depressing. Many innovations like crumple zones & ABS brakes were introduced on the S-class & then became available on affordable cars.

    Mercedes does not see the longer range offered by its competitors as a threat.

    It is very disappointing that Mercedes does not feel a need to compete with BMW in its home market, GM in the USA or BYD in China.

    BYD is selling large numbers of Tang MPVs with 18.4 kWh battery pack. GM Volt offers 53 miles EPA electric range, although Opel is not planning to market it. BMW i3 Rex offers 72 miles EPA.

    The other key feature of those cars is that they have powerful electric motors capable of brisk acceleration in all-electric mode. Mercedes has failed to notice that the serene EV driving experience fits well with a luxury car.

    1. ffbj says:

      Yep, sort of makes you wonder.

  7. Rick says:

    The average price of electricity in Germany is nearly 3 times the average in the US. That may be part of the reason they are not in a hurry to switch.

    1. How does the average price of petro in Germany compare with the U.S.?

      Expect fossil fuels in Germany are more than 3x compared to the U.S.

      1. GrokGrok says:

        According to some quick Googling, electricity is about USD 0.15/kwh in Germany. If one assumes a full charge for a 50 mile AER/17 kwh battery, that’s about $2.55, not counting losses in the cost of charging. Meanwhile, gas is $5.57 per gallon. At 25 mpg (about what an S class gets on the highway), the cost would be pretty much a wash, especially to someone shelling out for a Mercedes who’s obviously not focused on saving small change.

        I think the motivator is really more if the car is otherwise more compelling than an ICE (like a Tesla) and if there are other reasons, like restrictions on driving ICE vehicles in cities.

        1. Not really a wash. By your math it would cost $2.55 to travel 50 miles on electricity. While at would take 2 gallons to travel that same 50 miles, which would cost $11.14. Now figure that driver travels 1000 miles a month on either electricity or gas. The cost on electricity is $51 while the cost on gas is $222.80, a difference of $171 a month or more than $2k per year. I get that most MB drivers wouldn’t consider $2k per year as a make it or break it deal, but it’s hardly chump change. And in my experience, wealthy or even well to do people (who can afford a MB) did not get that way by being stupid.

          1. GrokGrok says:

            Yep, my overly quick math was off by a tad. The cost advantage would narrow if the MPG goes up, as it’s required to in future years, and which might be done by a non-plug in hybrid. I don’t think the kwh/mile ratio will improve much.

            The other part of the math is whether there’s a price premium over a non-plug in, who’s paying, your expected ownership length, and who’s paying the bills (you may not care if your company’s paying costs). Too much price premium for annual gas savings is probably what’s limited hybrid appeal in the U.S.

          2. Nix says:

            Another way to calculate it (which most folks wouldn’t do) is to multiply $2K times 22 years, which is the current lifespan of the average car in the US. That is $44,000 dollars. Or roughly the price of a pretty well optioned Leaf, including typical tax and fees.

            In other words, enough savings for one free car, based on your math.

            Not too shabby.

            1. SparkEV says:

              Average car in US is 11 years, not 22 years. Even if you assume $2K for 11 years, that’s $22K, enough to get free SparkEV and used gas car.

              But hybrids, including non plug in, needs battery replaced AND have the gas engine serviced. The chance of it having battery replaced after 10+ years and driven for another 10+ years is low. Then the average age of hybrid will be far less.

              Compare that to gas car that only need water pump or gasket change (under $500 per event), and they will be driven by poor people for far longer than hybrids. Considering manufacturing pollution, hybrids could (COULD!) be worse than similar gas cars.

              1. Nix says:

                SparkEV — Yes, 11 years is the average age of all vehicles on the road in the US. That is not the same as the average lifespan. Those are two different figures.

                For an average age of 11, there needs to be just as many cars that are older than 11 on the road as there are cars younger than 11 years old.

                Let me try it another way, using the age of people as an example.

                The median age in the United States is 37.8 years old.

                https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2177.html

                That means that about half the US population is older than 37.8 years old, and the other half is younger.

                That obviously doesn’t mean that people in the US don’t live past 38 years old. They live much longer than that. Their lifespan isn’t 38 years. The same goes for cars. 11 years is the average age of cars that are licensed to operate on the road, based upon all of the state DMV records. That doesn’t mean their lifespan is only 11 years.

                1. hari says:

                  Hmm.. that makes a lot of sense! I used to think it as the age they usually dies off on an average.

    2. Speculawyer says:

      Then again, this has caused Germans to install solar PV like crazy. And when they self-consume their own generated electricity, it is only $0.12/KWH or so.

  8. vin says:

    I think it’s a much more impressive level of commitment to roll out 10 different PHEV models with 12 miles of range by the end of next year than it is to have, say, two BEVs and one PHEV (Chevy). Or two PHEVs and one BEV (Ford). Are there any other manufacturers out there that will be offering electrification across their lineup by 2017 like Mercedes? Maybe there are, I haven’t really been paying attention.

    1. Nix says:

      I agree. I’ll give them points for effort, even if I’m not the the target audience for their 1st gen PHEV’s.

      This is clearly a PHEV targeted to the EU market, where the EV mode is more for zero emissions in city centers where they have restrictions. They will probably do a very good job at that. And there is nothing wrong with that being a starting point for them.

      But it will be much nicer for US drivers once they break past 20-25 miles of range for an SUV and large luxury car, and 30+ miles for smaller cars. The math works much better in the US at that point.

  9. ultraturtle says:

    “…the longest range plug-in hybrid is the 2016 Chevrolet Volt and it’s rated for 53 miles (85 km) today…”

    Not quite accurate. The BMW i3 REX (the only plug-in series hybrid currently available, and the most efficient plug-in hybrid by a wide margin) is rated for 72 miles.

    Mercedes is following the proper lead, however.