Smart ForTwo ED

Smart ForTwo ED

Daimler released a summary of its eMERGE real-world trial project conducted in Germany (Berlin, Potsdam and North Rhine-Westphalia) from May 2013 to June 2015.

The project, supported by around 6.5 million euros from the federal government, was about general use of electric cars, user behaviors and charging.

About 146 electric smarts drove a total of over 1 million kilometres (620,00 miles). Private and business customers set a few records like 10.4 kWh/100 km (lowest average energy consumption) and 161 km (100 miles) on one charge (smart ED is certified for 16.3 kWh/100 km and 145 km/90 miles range NEDC, 68 miles on the EPA scale).

Harald Kröger, Head of Development Electrics/Electronics & E-Drive Mercedes-Benz Cars said:

"The participants in the eMERGE research project have made a key contribution to the mobility of the future. With their assistance, we have scientifically investigated the real-world customer use of electric cars and thereby obtained valuable data to help us develop future electric cars. Increasingly low-cost battery systems will enable us to offer our customers ever more attractive prices in future. However, we also advocate an attractive system of incentives capable of giving a quick boost to electric mobility. Daimler already offers the world's most diverse fleet of electric and hybrid vehicles and is continuing to invest heavily in the development of alternative drive systems."

Among the findings in eMERGE study, Daimler mentioned 50 km (31 miles) a day as the level above which electric cars are financially attractive.

The next step will be eMERGE2 project, with 200 electric and plug-in hybrids.

"eMERGE study: electric cars financially attractive from 50 km a day

The typical supporter of electric mobility is educated and tech-savvy with an above-average income – according to an analysis of the target group in the eMERGE project. The researchers also made some interesting findings about people who reject electric mobility: the less an interviewee knew about electric mobility, the more negative their opinion. Another result of the study: the purchase price is a key criterion for or against an electric car. On the other hand, interviewees were often unaware of consumption savings. The ideal target group in the study turned out to be commuters who drive a daily distance of 50 kilometres or more, because this then makes the purchase of an electric car financially attractive owing to the low operating and maintenance costs. The interviewees also attached very great importance to range, performance, space and charging time. The study found that the decision in favour of an electric car was down mainly to reasons of image, whereas personal environmental awareness was of minor importance. On the other hand, it was found that the purchase decision was very positively influenced by access to a public charging infrastructure.

Findings relating to the charging process

Within the framework of eMERGE the driving and charging profiles of potential users were analysed and the corresponding demand was identified. According to this around a quarter of the charging infrastructure is likely to be required in public places, with over half being needed in semi-public locations such as shopping centres or leisure facilities. Another important finding: the night-time charging demand is what determines the overall demand for infrastructure, because there is generally only one night-time charge per charging point, whereas several charges are possible during the daytime.

A further focus of the research was to test out Plug&Charge among participants with their own photovoltaic system. Plug&Charge means that charging starts automatically without the need for additional identification. An RWE wallbox allowed intelligent charging to be further developed. eMERGE participants were able to adapt their charging strategy, such as charging their smart fortwo electric drive exactly when sufficient power was available from renewable energy sources – in this case from their own solar system. This enables users to charge in a convenient, intelligent and environmentally aware manner.

eMERGE2: fleet project with 200 Mercedes-Benz vehicles

eMERGE will be directly followed by eMERGE2, which will see up to 200 cars being used in the model regions of Berlin/Potsdam, Stuttgart, Rhine-Ruhr and Rhine-Main. The vehicle fleet will be made up of the battery electric B 250 e and plug-in hybrids from Mercedes-Benz. The different technology and vehicle segments suggest different reasons for use than in the case of the smart fortwo electric drive. The inclusion of plug-in hybrids allows the project partners to study the usage patterns of a further group of customers and to compare them with those of customers with all-electric vehicles. In this way, the findings from real-world customer use in eMERGE2 can, in turn, be pooled with other empirical data - such as from endurance trials - and be incorporated into the development of electric drivetrains and systems."

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