Mercedes-Benz Hybrids Are Coming

Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz will offer hybrid versions of its S-, E-, andC-Class models and its off-road vehicles. Daimler is developing vehicles that can be powered with combustion engines or electric motors on thesame platform.

The Mercedes-Benz S400 hybrid’s lithium ionbattery pack has a 120-volt battery under the hood. When the driverdemands more power to accelerate or pass, the electric motor, which also doubles as the starter motor and alternator, immediately provides 118pound-feet of torque.

The S400 consumes an average of 9.5 litresper 100 kilometres, compared to the S550 and its 12.4 L/100 km. The carmay help its owners to avoid current gas guzzler taxes in somejurisdictions.

The engine in the Mercedes-Benz E300 BluetecHybrid on display earlier this year in Geneva is a 2.2-liter diesel four with twin turbochargers that puts out 204 horsepower. That engine isalso used in the 2011 Mercedes-Benz E250 Bluetec, shown at last year’sNew York Auto Show. The company estimated its fuel economy at 28 mpgcity, 39 mpg highway.

The Bluetec Hybrid lithium-ion battery pack and electric motor are similar to those used in the 2010 Mercedes-BenzS400 Hybrid. Its 15-kilowatt electric motor and turbodiesel four have afuel efficiency of 57.4 mpg on the European test cycle. The car hascarbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of 109 grams per kilometer.

TheE300 Bluetec Hybrid also offers electric-only driving for shortdistances, as well as using the electric motor to boost the engine under acceleration.

Daimler plans to begin using carbon-fiber parts in mass production cars starting in 2012. According to spokeswoman EvaWiese, an electric version of its SLS gull-wing sports car with aluminum and plastic components will probably be built and introduced by 2013.

Richard Matthews is a consultant, eco-entrepreneur, sustainable investor and writer. He is the owner of THE GREEN MARKET, one of the Web’s most comprehensive resources on the business of the environment. He is also the author of numerous articles on sustainable positioning, green investing, enviro-politics and eco-economics.



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