Mercedes-Benz C 350 e Featured In Fully Charged – Video

OCT 6 2016 BY MARK KANE 18

Mercedes-Benz C 350 e

Mercedes-Benz C 350 e

Fully Charged recently had opportunity to test drive the Mercedes-Benz C 350 e plug-in hybrid.

As it turns out, it was the first time a Mercedes-Benz has ever been featured in the long run show on plug-in vehicles.

The show’s host, Robert Llewellyn laments the fact that Mercedes PR people have never responded to request from the show to supply cars for review, but in this case an owner of a new 2017 edition (Phil) has volunteered the car to be test driven.

The £38,845 C 350 e is on the higher side of the plug-in spectrum but nearly 3,000 sold in the first half of the year in UK shows this is what consumers want.

“The Mercedes C350e plug in hybrid. A very swish car, amazing technology plus an amatuer driver and car reviewer in one neat package.”

Mercedes-Benze C350e Interior

Mercedes-Benze C350e Interior

Interesting, the C 350 e has been priced rather aggressively in the US from $45,490, which after federal rebate makes it one of the cheapest C-Class cars.  

Unfortunately, the car that was originally scheduled to arrive in America for the Fall of 2015, was delayed to the Spring of 2016, then Summer 2016…and you get the point.

In a “not looking good for the short term” moment, and despite dealers listing the car as coming, Mercedes USA’s website listing for the C350e is now showing a error message.

We assume this means the car won’t be arriving for the US in 2016 now.

Mercedes-Benz C350e quick specs:

  • NEDC range 19 miles (31 km) on the 6.2 kWh lithium-ion battery
  • 1.9-liter four-cylinder petrol engine (155 kW / 211 hp, 350 Nm) combined with a 7-speed automatic transmission and 60 kW, 340 Nm electric motor. Total 205 kW / 239 hp and 600 Nm of torque.
  • 0-60 mph takes roughly 6 seconds – 5.9 s for Saloon version and 6.2 s for combi Estate version
  • Top speed stands at 250 km/h / 155 mph
  • Fuel economy – 2.1 litres per 100 kilometres plus electricity

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18 Comments on "Mercedes-Benz C 350 e Featured In Fully Charged – Video"

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Nice lite review, but you’re really want a place to plug in at work for this type of range.

I guess this range works in Europe.
But, in the US I’d think 30 miles of real EPA range is needed, for winters.

Friend of mine had one (2016 edition) and he plugged it in the first week or so… Remember that you have less than a third of the power available from the electric motor.

No, this range does not work in Europe as well.

If you do the math: 60 kW from a 6 kWh battery, that’s 10C. Complete nonsense, obviously not meant for real use. Also, as Bob wrote, no C350e driver will regard 60 kW as sufficient.

That’s just greenwashing. Being a “plugin hybrid”, it gets government incentives of 3.000 Euro. So german tax money will pay your leather seats.

the b#@z-o phev s-class has an 80kW electric motor. the mercedes-benz phev’s are designed such that, if you are looking for performance, the cars will operate in a “combined” mode. but then, if performance is what you want, you probably aren’t that concerned about energy efficiency anyway.

these are basically “compliance” cars in the sense that the beat european co2 taxes and congestion charges.

You clearly haven’t driven a PHEV like the 330e, A3 e-Tron or this C 350e. I wouldn’t have believed 60kw was enough power before driving one, but the electric motor’s instant torque gets the car up to speed more quickly than you’d expect. There’s a very linear power delivery and more than enough power to safely pass. The handling in these performance oriented PHEVs is what you’d expect from the normal Teutonic offerings, but with instant torque and they’re simultaneously more efficient.

Battery production and charging infrastructure need to scale before there is a wider variety of BEVs across manufacturers.

Thing is, this is a crippled car.
The NEDC AER is ~19mi, which means the EPA one will be in the 12-15mi range.

That’s really low, and a lot less than the average daily driving distance in virtually any developed country. Meaning, it is effectively not an EV in any reasonable sense.

This is a mid-size car, not a subcompact.
With all that engineering & various modes, having such a tiny battery is simply unbalanced and inexcusable.

I agree it doesn’t work if by this we mean it isn’t nearly enough to provide the emissions cuts we need. PHEVs generally have “power cells” that are optimised more for power than energy density. BEVs generally use “energy cells” that can’t deliver as much power but can store more energy. An interesting exception to this is VW which uses the same cells for both PHEVs and BEVs. Using only one type of cell allows greater volume and lower price, but the cells are bound to compromise either PHEV all-electric power or BEV range. That is why VW has become uncompetitive in 2017. Their e-Golf gets 300 km, but the cheaper (and cooler IMO) ZOE gets 400 km (NEDC in both cases). The e-Golf could have been very competitive if it just had higher energy density cells. Kreisler Electric has demonstrated as much by converting an e-Golf installing a pack made from off the shelf 18650 cells. They used the original space and restricted themselves to the original weight as well – and got 55 kWh! Its clear the VW strategy didn’t work. The higher energy cells for BEVs are cheaper per kWh, and this more than compensates for the… Read more »

So are these small-battery PHEVs selling in Europe? They sure are not selling well in the USA (with the exception of the Ford Fusion Energi).

Are you sure about that? PHEVs are selling as well as they can, but many are effectively sold out or not available in many regions still today. The 330e, for example, hasn’t sold more than 50 units a month, but the entire 2016 MY is sold out. Prius Prime, with the highest MPGe of any mass production car, will sell many cars in NA. e-tron is selling quite well and more PHEVs are coming.

It’s hard to see the benefits of PHEVs through an electric pariscope, but there are no compromises with driving a plugin. Most daily driving requires no gas, but drivers don’t have to worry about SOC if plans change. PHEVs also reap all the benefits of fully electric cars, such as carpool lanes, upfront parking with charging, etc and cost significantly less to lease.

I get over 99.9mpg and visit the gas station once a month, that’s pretty damn good in my mind.

Relatively speaking? Yeah, other than the Fords, all the other low range PHEVs are not selling that well. The best in the BMW x40 xDrive SUV PHEV at around 500/month. But that is a quarter of the sales of the Volt. The eTron is around 320. Most of the rest of those short-range PHEVs are down in the double-digit range.

I think all the fancy high-end German PHEVs (mercedes, BMW, Porsche, etc.) are getting killed by Tesla. If you are going to pay top dollar, why not get the pure EV with a big battery?

But yeah, I do assume the Prius Prime will do reasonably well. But that is mostly by just carrying the Prius badge and the California carpool lane sticker.

I have to disagree on everything, but Teslas incredible success. That is undeniable.

So if you compare Tesla to any PHEV it wins, but if you compare low range PHEVs with high range PHEVs, or other EVs, the story slightly changes. Of course the X5 only sold less units than the Volt, but it made up 10% of all X5 sales, every month since April. The Volt on the other hand is very comparable to the Cruze, which outsold the Volt also by 10:1.
The Ford Fusion, you picked as the good example actually sold only 5% in PHEV mode.

Just looking at sales figures doesn’t make much sense, we tend to forget that not every segment gets the same about of sales, maybe because 2 of the top 3 plug ins are luxury cars right now. But that is something very unnatural, that will change eventually, I at least hope so.

I think that is an odd way of looking at it . . . do you really think people decide on which car make/model they want first and then decide if they want conventional or plug-in? I suppose some do that.

I would think most people would decide first whether they want plug-in or ICE. And if they decide on plug-in, look around at the plug-in offerings and then pick one.

Prius prime will also lure in every day Prius drivers who are coming off Lease Agreements with Toyota, and want to take the next step torward fuel efficiency. You have to consider these loyal Toyota brand customers who have no other Toyota EV option (thanks Toyota). The Toyota customers have huge brand loyalty to the Prius Model specifically, and are accustomed to the existing Hybrid technology. Adding a plug, is not a big leap of faith, as long as there is the backstop peace of mind of the petrol fueling option.

IMHO, small battery weak EV mode PHEVs are really just a compliance vehicle designed to boost mpg to meet compliance requirement.

A true PHEV with strong EV mode (Volt and i3 REx) are vehicles truly designed to transition owners to BEV in the future. Those are EV first and gas second type of design.

We really need two category to distinguish the two. Of course, if the term EREV is used, there will be another flame war here which I don’t want to get into.

With that said, I do agree that even weak PHEV has its roles and can potentially leads to much gas saving if it is fits the use model of the owner. I am just afraid that many owners won’t bother to use the EV mode and only buy the vehicle because other “benefits” it comes with.

Thing is, it would take very little to make this reasonable EV-wise. We’re not talking adding 40kWh to a Tesla S 60 to get to an S 100… Simply giving it the range the prev-gen Volt had (~38mi) is enough to cover the vast majority of drivers’ daily driving in all markets. And I’m not talking about the Sport mode either.
That could probably be done here by adding ~10-12kWh.

I think people miss the point on these types of cars. Its a Mercedes Benz or Audi that gets 50-70 mpg or better, with the usual excellent driving experience. I have the e-tron with it’s (easily attained) 17 mile AER. It fits my daily commute such that I rarely use gas. My last tank was 60 mpg and this current tank is looking like 80-100 mpg.

I know it’s heresy here, but not everyone wants to save the world with their car. I like saving on gas, I enjoy a nice car, and it it cuts emissions, that’s a nice bonus.

It is not heresy. It is just a bit disappointing that they decided to put such small batteries in their PHEVs. But every electric mile is better than a gas miles so even little things help.

The eTron is down in the medium pricing range and so it makes sense as a PHEV.

But I think the German high-end PHEVs are flopping because if you are going to pay that much for a car then why not get a Tesla with a big battery and ditch the ICE. (No oil changes, carpool lane access, no smog check, no lurching transmission, no stinky fill-ups, etc.)

I think people miss the point on these types of cars. Its a Mercedes Benz or Audi that gets 50-70 mpg or better, with the usual excellent driving experience. I have the e-tron with it’s (easily attained) 17 mile AER. It fits my daily commute such that I rarely use gas. My last tank was 60 mpg and this current tank is looking like 80-100 mpg.

I know it’s heresy here, but not everyone wants to save the world with their car. I like saving on gas, I enjoy a nice car, and if it cuts emissions, that’s a nice bonus.