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Saturday, August 01, 2009
Mercedes-Benz Electric Car
Image: © 2009 Daimler AG (custom enhanced)

Mercedes-Benz Advances Electric Car Design In The BlueZERO

STUTTGART, GERMANY - On their rapid quest towards zero emissions, Mercedes-Benz has developed the BlueZERO concept car modular chassis (see photo). The BlueZERO is actually three cars in one, and it represents Mercedes-Benz's highest level of electric drive technology development. For those who want a pure Mercedes-Benz electric car, then there is the BlueZERO E-CELL model. If your passion is for a high technology hydrogen fuel cell hybrid, then there is the BlueZERO F-CELL. For those who need a car with long range, Mercedes-Benz engineers have created the BlueZERO E-CELL PLUS, which has a 1-litre internal combustion engine powering a 50 kW alternator to charge the batteries.

Mercedes-Benz may introduce a car similar to the BlueZERO Concept as early as late 2011. The BlueZERO concept car platform is already fully functional, and all three powertrain configurations are available for testing. You can be sure that Daimler, Mercedes-Benz's parent company, wants to deliver a production volume 100% electric drive family car by the 2012 model year, and the BlueZERO chassis design will be an inspiration for this. The technology in the BlueZERO chassis is electric front-wheel drive for all three variants, and all use the same 100 kW peak output power (70 kW continuous) electric motor, that delivers a maximum torque of 320 Nm.

The Mercedes-Benz BlueZERO electric drive system gives each model the same performance specifications for acceleration and top speed. The Mercedes-Benz BlueZERO electric drive modular design accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62.5 mph) in under 11 seconds, and the top speed is electronically governed to a maximum of 150 km/h  (93.75 mph). There are three different battery packs designed to suit each BlueZERO model and they are all liquid cooled lithium-ion cell construction, manufactured by Li-Tec, a joint venture partnership between Daimler and Evonik Industries.

The BlueZERO E-CELL is the configuration that is Mercedes-Benz's 100% electric car, and its performance specifications are a 200 km range (125 miles) on a full charge, using a 35 kilowatt-hour Li-Tec lithium-ion battery pack to store the charge. If you want an electric car with more range, then the Mercedes-Benz BlueZERO E-PLUS is a model that has a 17.5 kWh lithium-ion battery from Li-Tec, and this is integrated with a 1-litre internal combustion engine, the same as used in the smart fortwo car. The 1-litre engine powers a 50 kW electric generator that is used to charge the battery pack and provide integrated power.

The higest technology BlueZERO model is the hydrogen powered F-CELL, which has a range of 400 km (250 miles) on a full tank of hydrogen, and the electric motor is powered by a hydrogen fuel cell that uses a Li-Tec lithium-ion battery pack in a hybrid power arrangement. The BlueZERO F-CELL will suit communities where plans for hydrogen fuel delivery capability are at an advanced stage, like in the State of California, or in Germany and France. 

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