Mercedes-Benz S550e Gets Official EPA Rating – 0 to 12 Miles Of Electric-Only Range


Mercedes-Benz S550 Plug-in Hybrid Arrives In US

Mercedes-Benz S550 Plug-in Hybrid Arrives In US

The EPA has release official ratings for the 2015 Mercedes-Benz S550e and the numbers are a little disappointing.

From earlier Mercedez-Benz press it was expected the big Benz to be able to travel up to 18-20 miles in all-electric mode on a single charge, but the EPA says otherwise.

The official EPA figures now list the car’s electric-only range at 0 to 12 miles (combined), far below any previous estimates. This 0-12 rating is similar to that of the Toyota Prius PHV, meaning that the petrol engine turns at some point in the test – albeit in a limited fashion.

S550e Electric Range Rating - From Left To Right: City, Highway, Combined

S550e Electric Range Rating – From Left To Right: City, Highway, Combined

Here’s what we wrote a month or so ago in announcing the arrival of the 550e:

“The luxury Mercedes starts at $94,400 (+925 destination) and features a 8.7 kWh battery that helps propel the large sedan to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds, as well as giving it an estimated all-electric range of about 18 miles. The S550 PHV is also eligible for some $4,700 in federal incentives.”

“It should be noted that even before federal incentive, the S550 plug-in is the least expensive of any S Class offering. The S550 petrol sedan starts at $95,650 (+dst).”

As for MPG, here are those numbers for the 550e:

S550e MPG Rating

S550e MPG Rating – From Left To Right: City, Highway, Combined

Category: Mercedes


42 responses to "Mercedes-Benz S550e Gets Official EPA Rating – 0 to 12 Miles Of Electric-Only Range"
  1. drpawansharma says:

    Disgusting and shameful.

    1. miggy says:

      What a joke this car is, Why would you bother for 20km range, get real MB.

  2. bro1999 says:

    What’s the point. Weak.

    1. protomech says:

      Still far better than the last S400 hybrid, at 19 city / 25 highway.

      If the S550e can displace 15 miles of gas travel 200 days per year (plugin at home and work) and 7 miles of gas travel another 75 days, that’s 3500 miles of gas travel displaced. And with 26 MPG after AER is depleted, the S550e uses about 440 gallons of gas per year (assuming 15k miles).

      The standard S550 uses about 750 gallons of gas per year, barely more than the previous hybrid. The S550e saves a bit over 300 gallons per year, and costs about $5k LESS up-front.

      That’s about as much gas as you’d save switching from a chevy cruze 1.4T (30 mpg, 500 gal/year) to a chevy volt (assume: 9000 miles electric/year, 6000 miles gas @ 37 mpg = 162 gal/year). And the Volt costs a fair bit more than the Cruze up front.

      1. protomech says:

        The plugin Prius by comparison saves barely any fuel. It’s rated by the EPA at 0-6 miles of all-electric range, or up to 11 miles of combined assist.

        The standard Prius uses about 300 gal/year, twice as the Volt but still quite low.

        The plug-in prius, using the same charge at home/work logic as above, can displace about 2000 miles of gas usage. That saves about 40 gallons/year vs 300+ for the S550e.

      2. Mr. m says:

        Thanks for this great compare. Yes this is why it makes sense even with a low AER to go Plug-In. This is true for any gas guzzler, not so much than for a Prius 😉

        Just think about what 3mpg better because of PHEV would do for a F-150 over the year + 10 miles AER daily.

      3. mustang_sallad says:

        Yes, gallons per year definitely gives a better picture of the benefits. This is why PHEV SUVs and pickups would make a lot of sense to me, can’t figure out why there doesn’t seem to be anything on the horizon in terms of a pickup other than VIA motors..

        1. Mr. m says:

          you mean besides Volvo or Mitsubishi?

  3. Heisenberght says:

    “the numbers are a little disappointing”

    translates to

    The numbers are absulutely disappointing

    (…and show, that the german car makers are willingly waiting for Tesla to eat more of their share, before they bring out something useful. I start to think that this strategy will make them look like the electricity companies that missed their chance on renewables…)

  4. Brian says:

    For 95k I will 100% not be wasting a single moment thinking about this as a car I want.

    1. Mr. m says:

      I think few people that not wanted an Mercedes S-class already are in the boat for a s-class PHEV. But in my eyes the s-class PHEV saves sooo much gas compared to the standard s-class that any AER is fine and it is cheap too (compared to the other s-class models).

  5. offib says:

    Wow… Geez, that’s poor, Mercedes. What a waste of an opportunity.

    In fairness, it’s a big ‘ucker and if my knowledge serves me, there are some moderate-brisk acceleration, especially in the highway test. With a rather meager ev output for what it is, it’s safe to say that the S-Class would be far more tuned towards response (to the detriment of using the ICE) rather than being locked in an EV mode that can only be removed by flooring the pedal in case of emergency.

    Remember how the C-Max Energi takes 15 seconds to 60 mph in EV mode? I’m sure something like that would have been avoided at all costs, it may prove more embarrassing than this pathetic range!

  6. ffbj says:

    I am underwhelmed.

  7. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    Zero to 12 miles of electric range?

    Seems like every new PHEV is trying to compete in a limbo dance. “How low can you go?”

    When, oh when, will any auto maker produce a PHEV to challenge the electric range of the Volt?

    1. David Murray says:

      BMW i3-Rex.

  8. Chris O says:

    Why would anybody buy this? Well nobody does, 10 units sold in July and 10 units in September suggests sales aren’t really taking off.

    I expect the way to sell these (for compliance reasons presumably)is by making them cheaper than the rest of the range and sell them to opportunists who will never ever bother to charge them.

    1. Chris O says:

      Hmm, that’s 10 units sold in August, I don’t actually have a crystal sphere so who knows how much MB will sell in September…

    2. Mr. m says:

      The s-class sells between 1300-2000 / month. Because it is a high end car, most buyers will not buy the cheapest model / smallest motor, therefore i think only 5-10% will buy the PHEV. But this would be 50-200 cars / month. This car might sell more than the B-Class BEV soon. 😉

    3. Mike I says:

      I happened to be at a M-B dealer helping a family member with a transaction and got to talking to the salesperson about plug-ins. He mentioned to me that the dealerships could not yet configure these to their own specs and the factory was loading them up with options so they were nowhere near the starting price.

  9. David Murray says:

    Pretty disappointing for a $95,000 car. And to top it off, I think it is ugly and wouldn’t drive it if it were given to me for free.

    1. jelloslug says:

      I would drive it if it were given to me for free. I would drive it to Carmax first and see what they would give me for it and then I would drive it to my closest Tesla dealer and see what they would give me on trade in.

      1. John in AA says:

        Heh. Yep.

  10. Alaa says:

    Who wants a Mercedes now!

  11. Someone out there says:

    Yeah, it’s not brilliant. On the other hand, people who buy Mercedes S class aren’t really the ones complaining about gas prices. This one is for rich people who don’t really care about the environment but still would like to have some bragging rights of being “green”. As a joke if nothing else.

  12. turbonium959 says:

    Would you idiots stop comparing every new PHEV or EVer to the Tesla? You are comparing apples and oranges. Mercedes-Benz, or any other major OEM for that matter, know what they are doing. The S-Class is not a high volume seller or any sort of MPG or AER record holder, because it’s a f*cking luxury barge. Mercedes is aware of certain parts of the world where a customer would not mind paying for a PHEV S-Class because of the emissions or taxes, etc. But that customer will have the kind of luxury Tesla will never be able to match. So quit whining about an orange and that looks and tastes different than that of an apple.

    1. Heisenberght says:

      Most people here are no idiots.

      It is quite a fair comparison, when someone says: With an amount of xyz $ I can buy a Mercedes or a Tesla, and I decide for a Tesla…

      You are right with the apples and oranges but I would choose different fruits:

      Tesla= sweet tasty apple
      Mercedes=super sour grapefruit

      or maybe:


      Maybe you try to keep being fair with your words, otherwise one could think, that your arguments are like your wording… hmmm… Well I think it’s obvious….

      1. Skip says:


        Tesla’s Interior can’t even compete with the last generations of the S-Class.

      2. turbonium959 says:

        I am sorry, but I still do not agree. The first two people to post on this article are not showing any signs of intelligence. I understand that not all are of the same kind, but those particular ones bring nothing to the table. Secondly, no matter what fruits you want to chose to juggle with here, the S-Class PHEV is not comparable to the Tesla S on the MSRP alone. In that case it becomes very subjective as everyone has different wants and needs.

  13. larry4pyro says:

    MB says this car can operate all electric up to 87 mph, but that requires a light touch on the accelerator. It has a 114 electric motor powered from a 8.7 kWh battery in addition to the 329 hp ICE. The car weighs 5100 pounds, so I suspect it turns on the ICE pretty early in order to maintain the kind of performance expected by people who buy these cars. Looks like it has three driving modes, Hybrid, E-Save which is similar to the Charge Sustaining mode in the Volt, and finally, Charge mode where the driver can turn the ICE on at any time to charge the battery. I suspect people will find driving all electric will be more enjoyable than the hybrid modes so they will be turning their ICEs on often to keep the battery charger. If that’s the case why not just buy a Tesla Model S?

    Here’s a review of the S550e

  14. Bill Howland says:

    I wonder about the EPA testing methodology. If it is 0 miles then it means the battery completely discharging is adding nothing at all to the mileage.

    1. protomech says:

      Not quite.

      The 0-xx miles of all electric range indicates that the vehicle was unable to complete one cycle of the EPA tests in all-electric mode, either because the engine kicked on to meet the light acceleration requirements or because the vehicle was unable to complete a single cycle of the driving schedule in all-electric mode.

      The EPA uses a different type of label for these light PHEVs, called the blended PHEV label (instead of the series PHEV label, which is used for the Volt, i3 REX, and Porsche Cayenne S e-Hybrid). You can read about the regulations for these vehicles in 49 CFR Part 575, or you can take a look at the different labels here (Fig IV-6 and IV-7):

      The key thing to look at is different energy consumption rates reported while the PHEV is operating in a charge-depleting mode. For example, look at several types of blended-mode PHEVs:

      The plug-in Prius, for example, is listed as 0-6 miles of all-electric range. The label also tells you that the vehicle has a combined 11 miles of charge-depleting operation, during which time it consumed gas at the rate of 0.2 gallons per 100 miles and electricity at the rate of 29 kWh per 100 miles. Afterwards, in charge-sustaining mode the Prius consumes gas at the rate of 2.0 gallons per 100 miles; this indicates that during the 11 miles of charge-depleting mode, the Prius is deriving the majority of its energy (~90%) from the battery, not the fuel tank.

      Another way to look at it is that during the 11 miles of charge-depleting mode, the Prius used only 0.022 gallons of gas; the next 11 miles in charge-sustaining mode require 0.22 gallons of gas, meaning the plug-in Prius battery actually displaces almost 10 miles of gas travel per full charge, not the 0-6 miles the “all-electric” stat indicates.

      Similarly, the Porsche Panamera S e-Hybrid is rated at 0.5 gallons/100 miles for 16 miles in charge-depleting mode, and 4.0 gallons/100 miles afterwards; a fully-charged battery can displace approximately 14 miles of gas travel.

      I’m curious what the blended mode energy consumption figures are for the S550e; I suspect they are similar to the Panamera e-Hybrid.

      1. Bill Howland says:

        You are proving my point. If the car displaces 10 miles of gasoline per charge, they should, in plain english, say so, since that will be the question on buyers’ minds.

        0-12 is a ridiculous figure. Not quite as much as the MPGE figure, which is only useful as a point of comparison. Its nonsense since the ICE is a “prime mover” whereas a ‘hidden’ pm has been used to obtain the electricity in the first place, and the difficulty or cost of obtaining such is not addressed.

        An electricity cost to gasoline cost comparison in the locale where the vehicle is planned to be used would provide much more helpful information as to fuel costs.

        1. ModernMarvelFan says:

          up to 10 miles of gasoline… =)

          Or up to half gallons in this case assuming 20mpg in gasoline mode.

          Yes, those figures are kind of confusing…

          They should just denote that those “blended mode can displace up to xxx amount of gasoline per charge in trips greater than xxx miles”.

  15. PVH says:

    They should have gone the way of the I3 with range extender, I mean big battery with small ICE. On the other hand given low fuel prices it is difficult to have Big Car jumping around in excitement to produce EV’s. Seems like some are being delayed right now. As if Big Car wants to issue their EV’s with a chance that it will coincide with increased fuel prices.

  16. Ambulator says:

    Bop! Could’ve had a Tesla!

  17. Nicholas says:

    Possible zero electric miles? I’d rather get two used Teslas.

  18. kubel says:

    Why would anyone buy this heap of crap when they could get behind the wheel of a Tesla Model S or X?

  19. Koenigsegg says:


    a complete waste of time and money to create this joke of a vehicle, what the hell is Mercedes doing?

    Nothing innovative thats for damn sure.

  20. Alex says:

    Paaahhh Mercedes. What a Joke…

  21. ModernMarvelFan says:

    People will buy it in California since it gets them the green HOV stickers.

    I bet that NONE of them will ever plug it in.

    The ONLY two PHEV that should get green HOV stickers in Calfornia are i3 REx and the Volt!

  22. no comment says:

    i strikes me a bit odd to refer to the PHEV benzo as an s550 given that it only has a 3 liter engine (i also don’t know why the same car is referred to as an s500 in europe). for example, with the w220 s-class, s500 meant that the benzo had a 5 liter engine.

    from photos, i think that the cadillac PHEV ct6 is certainly worth a look in comparison to the benzo; the ct6 has a nice interior and is probably a better engineered PHEV with its 37 miles AER. i generally like GM’s approach to the PHEV in that they give the cars enough AER to be sufficient for most typical driving scenarios.

    the ELR has similar AER but i suspect that part of the reaction to the ELR was because of similarities to what cadillac did with the cimmaron.

  23. Jeff Songster says:

    And these guys are supposed to be challenging Tesla? Weak tea guys… very weak. Compliance engineering specials. Weak dino burning hybrids. Sad really how the mighty German auto industry is sleeping through the revolution.