Mercedes-Benz Head Of Development: Automaker Will Launch 10 New PHEVs By 2017

JAN 14 2015 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 17

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Plug-In Hybrid - Image Credit: Tom Moloughney/InsideEVs

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Plug-In Hybrid – Image Credit: Tom Moloughney/InsideEVs

Mercedes-Benz S-Class Plug-In Hybrid: Image Credit: Tom Moloughney/InsideEVs

Mercedes-Benz S-Class Plug-In Hybrid: Image Credit: Tom Moloughney/InsideEVs

At the 2015 NAIAS, Mercedes-Benz made a big splash in the plug-in world by showing off three EVs: B-Class Electric Drive, S-Class PHEV and world debut of C-Class PHEV.

In addition to the vehicles on display, M-B made it known that its commitment to plug-ins is huge.  Mercedes-Benz’ head of research and development, Thomas Weber, stated:

“The plug-in hybrid is an investment in the future of Mercedes-Benz and we believe it will become established as the successful technology for maximum efficiency coupled with powerful dynamic performance. We will be launching ten new plug-in hybrid models up to 2017.”

Here are a few details on the C-Class plug-in hybrid displayed at the 2015 NAIAS (more details/live images in a dedicated C-Class PHEV article coming soon):

Mercedes-Benz introduced the C 350 PLUG-IN HYBRID, in both sedan and wagon versions, at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). Following the C 300 BlueTEC HYBRID, the C 350 PLUG-IN HYBRID is the second hybrid model in the new C-Class and the second Mercedes-Benz model (following the S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID) to feature PLUG-IN HYBRID technology. Its four-cylinder gasoline engine, in conjunction with 60 kW electric motor, gives it a total system output of 205 kW (279 hp) and torque of 600 N·m (443 lb-ft).

The all-electric range is 31 kilometers (19 miles); fuel consumption figures is 2.1 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers both versions. This corresponds to CO2 emissions of 48 grams (49 grams for the wagon) per kilometer. Both models are also equipped as standard with AIRMATIC air suspension plus a Pre-Entry Climate Control system that can be controlled via the internet. The C 350 PLUG-IN HYBRID will be at dealerships from March 2015.

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17 Comments on "Mercedes-Benz Head Of Development: Automaker Will Launch 10 New PHEVs By 2017"

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David Murray

I wonder why so many PHEVs are aiming for 20 miles AER? True, it could be worse, cough-prius, cough cough-accord. I would think they would be shooting for more like 30 or 40.

DonC

Range isn’t important because, with only a 60 kW motor, the gas engine will need to come on all the time anyway. Hard to believe you’ll be able to stay in electric mode for anything other than grocery store runs.

Should get good MPG though.

Lou Grinzo

I’m also not happy with such limited battery-mode capability, but consider that it’s pretty easy to upgrade that spec. as batteries improve and get cheaper. For cautious car companies, 20 miles gets them the greenwashing of having a PHEV without being overly exposed to the disruption of EVs and new battery tech. (At least I’m guessing that’s how they see it.)

I also have a hard time believing that someone who drives a MB PHEV will be as diligent about plugging it in as is the average Volt owner, some of whom are borderline fanatical (but in a good way). So while I’m firmly in the “more plugs is better” camp, I’m also in the “not all plugs are created equal” group.

kdawg

Maybe they’ll buy wireless chargers with that MB money?

See Through

They will charge at home, if the megacities require electric mode driving within cities.

Priusmaniac

They all rush in the wrong model of the PHEV instead of copying the right model of the BEV+Rex i3. Big mistake dictated by the conservatism of their clutch and gearbox departments.

Speculawyer

Yeah, I don’t get that at all. Seems amazingly stupid. I would be shooting for 16KWH since that maximizes the tax-credit.

Zim

20 is perfect for people in urban areas who walk or take mass transit to work and use their cars on weekends or evenings for errands mostly and the occasional road trip.

wavelet

For someone like that, a PHEV makes no sense; they’ll be driving very few pure-electric miles, so why a PHEV rather than a simpler non-plugin hybrid?

kdawg

“We will be launching ten new plug-in hybrid models up to 2017.”
——–

Guess I’ll have to bite the bullet and go vertical on my tracking spreadsheet. Just too many plug-ins coming out (not that that’s a bad thing).

See Through

Mercedes doesn’t see future in pure BEV. The current ED is just a patch, so they outsourced the powertrain work to Tesla. And they are putting their own resources where they think the meat is.

Speculawyer

It is interesting to see the divides though. I think both BMW and VW do see a future in pure electrics (as well as PHEVs).

No one fully knows how the technology will play out and so they make educated guesses. My guess is that both BEVs and PHEVs will do well but fuel cells will largely flop except some niche cases.

All have advantages and disadvantages. It really depends on vehicle size and the type of driving you do.

Stephen

The cynical in me thinks the Germans have calculated that a 20 mile PHEV is the most cost effective way to meet the EU CO2 mandates.

Speculawyer

So, Tesla is going battery electric,
Toyota is going Fuel Cell, and
Mercedes is going PHEV.

Seems all three companies got different views from their Tesla projects.

I think there is plenty of room for both PHEVs and BEVs. But fuel cells . . . . meh.

pjwood

What do I do if I want electric mode, when I’m not just getting milk?

Stop/Start is almost here and gone. 48V “Micro-hybrid” never saw the light of day. Hydrogen? If these “20 mile”, underpowered, EVs don’t go the same way, they’ll tease their drivers into considering the Full Monte, someplace else.

Darkj

I have the Ford Fusion Energi which gets between 16 and 25 miles per charge depending on temperature and climate control usage. I work from home but run my kids to school/gymnastics/etc. every day – it’s basically “Dad’s Taxi” and I rarely ever use any gasoline. I will also say when I was purchasing this car, it came down to either a used MB E350 or my FFE. I’m really glad I chose the Ford for a lot of reasons, and it’s a great car, but I’d still love a Mercedes. Wish this were an upgrade in some way – range, convenience, etc. That power port on the rear bumper makes no sense to me. Plus, I would imagine that this will run in the high 50’s which is out of my price range. Regardless, I’m sure it will sell well and appeal to folks who want a Mercedes but also want a plug-in and have a short commute.

electric-car-insider.com

I’m really pleased to see that Mercedes is planning so many PHEVs. They will be offering wireless charging. Once people figure out that their cars are not only cheaper to operate, but quieter and just plain nicer to drive, they’ll keep them charged up. Who likes to go to the gas station more often than you need to? Most people I know who drive electric *hate* to go to the gas station. After not having to go for a few months, you realize how much it stinks, and is one more task you don’t want to (or usually need to) spend time doing.