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Thursday, September 03, 2009
Mercedes-Benz Electric E-CELL PLUS
Image: © 2009 Daimler AG

Mercedes-Benz's BlueZERO E-CELL PLUS Electric Concept Car

STUTTGART, GERMANY - Mercedes-Benz released details about their hybrid electric BlueZERO E-CELL PLUS concept car this week. theirEarth Motoring recently wrote an article about Mercedes-Benz's other variant the BlueZERO E-CELL, which is their 100% electric concept car. This article concentrates on the hybrid electric-petrol (gasoline) E-CELL PLUS model, that is built on a new Mercedes-Benz front-wheel drive modular chassis, and used by the all-electric BlueZERO E-CELL and the BlueZERO F-CELL (hydrogen fuel cell) cars. In battery powered mode, the hybrid E-CELL PLUS is a zero emissions vehicle producing 0 grams of CO2 per km.

What the recent photos and specifications of the BlueZERO E-CELL PLUS concept car show is that Mercedes-Benz is moving very rapidly towards the production release of zero emissions and partial emissions vehicles. The E-CELL PLUS is actually a hybrid electric that is powered by two modes - either an 18 kWh liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery, or though a 1.0-litre turbocharged gasoline (petrol) engine that acts as a generator.

The E-CELL PLUS's front wheels are driven by a single Mercedes-Benz electric motor with a maximum power output of 100 kW (136 hp) and 320 Nm of maximum torque. This gives the E-CELL PLUS a quick zero to 100 km/h (62.5 mph) acceleration time of under 11 seconds and a top speed that is electronically limited to 150 km/h (93.75 mph). Mercedes-Benz says the range of their hybrid electric BlueZERO E-CELL PLUS is the first 100 km (62.5 miles) on battery power alone and then the vehicle can run an additional 500 km on petrol (gasoline) for a total 600 km (375 miles) distance on a full charge and full tank of fuel. Thereafter the car can continue its journey if it is a long on by refuelling on gasoline (petrol).

Mercedes-Benz says that many customers will be able to use a BLUEZERO E-CELL PLUS type car almost totally on electric power for return trips if they charge up the battery each evening off of a regular household outlet. The E-CELL PLUS can also have its battery charged to 50% capacity in 30 minutes off of a 20kW commercial charger for a driving range of 50 km (31.25 miles), and the same charger will deliver the full 100 km battery-only range in one hour. A standard full charge from a 3.3 kW household outlet is achieved overnight in approximately six hours.

Mercedes-Benz says that one of the limiting factors in the widespread implementation of electric cars is the charging infrastructures, so hybrid electrics like the BlueZERO E-CELL PLUS concept car offer a compromise that still defaults to petrol/diesel for longer range. Mercedes-Benz recently indicated that they will release a 100 % electrically powered car for the 2010 model year in small production volumes. 

The electric hybrid BlueZERO E-CELL PLUS (shown in the photo) is painted in an all-new Mercedes-Benz colour called ALU-BEAM yellow. The interior space concept is similar to the Mercedes-Benz A-Class and B-Class models, and it shares the same sandwich floor construction with them.

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