Mercedes-Benz Powers Up The Zero Emissions BlueZERO Car
Mercedes-Benz announced today a three tiered zero emissions series of concept cars for the North American Auto Show in Detroit (January 11-25, 2009). Mercedes-Benz is developing the BlueZERO chassis platform that will have three variants of power plant. One will be a fully rechargeable 100% electric car - the other a hybrid gasoline(petrol) electric (E-CELL), and the third a long range capable zero emissions hydrogen fuel cell (F-CELL) variant (see photo).
Daimler AG, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz,is adopting a modular strategy for their new vehicle designs that will be able to be powered by three power plant configurations: hybrid gasoline-electric, full 100% electric, and hydrogen-electric fuel cell. This strategy allows the customer to choose the power plant that suits their driving style, and if their driving was mainly short return trips they might opt for a full 100% electric car.
The BlueZero F-CELL is a hydrogen gas powered fuel cell car that produces zero emissions (0 g/km CO2). The hydrogen gas is converted to electricity by means of a platinum electrode and a Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM). The BlueZERO F-CELL also has external plug in charging capability from an electric outlet, as found in the home. The clear benefit of the BlueZERO F-CELL is that no CO2 gas is emitted to the Planet, and you have a very high-tech car to show off to your friends. Mercedes-Benz will launch its first hydrogen fuel cell B Class F-CELL in 2010 in limited quantities. The BlueZERO F-CELL Concept car has a 400 km range on a full charge of hydrogen.
One brilliant engineering concept of the new Mercedes-Benz BlueZERO car is that the sandwich chassis is designed to be modular and accept any powertrain type. The BlueZERO Concept uses Mercedes-Benz high technology liquid cooled lithium ion batteries, each with a charge capacity of 35 kWh. The BlueZero's electric motor is rated at 100 kW peak (70 kW continuous) power and it has a peak torque of 320 Nm. The BlueZERO car can accelerate to 100 km/h (62 mph) in less than 11 seconds and it has a zero emissions top speed of 150 km/h (93.8 mph).
Even the petrol (gasoline) variant of the BlueZERO, called the E-CELL, can drive emissions free. For trips of less than 50 km (31.3 miles), the BlueZERO E-CELL gasoline hybrid has a 17.5 kWh liquid cooled lithium ion battery that can be plugged in to charge at home, or be charged by deceleration regenerative braking. The petrol (gasoline) engine on the E-CELL is a 1.0 L turbo charged motor and the same as found on the smart fortwo car.
What the Mercedes-Benz BlueZERO Concept car clearly demonstrates is that a commercial mobility solution can be found for the future that brings dramatic reductions in CO2 output to the world while maintaining a viable transportation industry.