Mercedes-Benz plugs future cars
Dubai, January 25, 2009
Mercedes-Benz recently presented its near-series Concept BlueZERO car at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Based on a single vehicle architecture, this intelligent, modular concept allows three models with different drive configurations, all of which are able to meet customer requirements in terms of sustainable mobility, said a statement.
BlueZERO E-CELL has battery-electric drive and a range of up to 200 km using electric drive alone. The BlueZERO F-CELL (fuel cell) can reach up to 400 km using electric drive while the BlueZERO E-CELL PLUS has electric drive and a range extending additional internal combustion engine as power generator. This version has an overall range of up to 600 km and can cover a distance of up to 100 km using electric drive alone.
"The flexible BlueZERO concept allows electromobility for every requirement and highlights the fact that Mercedes-Benz is the world's only car manufacturer to already have in place all the key technologies for electric cars offering full everyday practicality,” said Frank Bernthaler, director, sales and marketing, Mercedes-Benz Cars Middle East & Levant.
“Small-scale production of Mercedes-Benz cars with battery-electric drive alone will start in 2010. This means we are extremely well equipped for the future."
All three BlueZERO variants share the same key technical components, while the design and vehicle dimensions are identical. Measuring just 4.22 m in length, the front-wheel-drive BlueZERO models combine compact exterior dimensions with a generously proportioned and variable interior and luggage compartment. Five fully-fledged seats, a payload of around 450 kg, and a luggage compartment capacity of over 500 litres make for outstanding everyday practicality. Thanks to their sandwich construction with a raised sitting position, the cars also offer an exceptionally high level of crash safety for the passengers and the technology, not to mention excellent all-round visibility, said the statement.
Mercedes engineers have put together a modular system comprising several flexibly combinable drive components. These include state-of-the-art liquid-cooled lithium-ion batteries with a storage capacity of up to 35 kWh and the compact electric motor with a maximum output of 100 kW (continuous output 70 kW), which develops a peak torque of 320 Nm. All three variants accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in less than 11 seconds. Their top speed is electronically limited to 150 km/h in the interests of optimal range and energy efficiency.
With a charging capacity of 15 kW, the powerful lithium-ion batteries in the BlueZERO E-CELL and the BlueZERO E-CELL PLUS can store enough energy for a range of 50 km within 30 minutes. In terms of purely electrical drive, one or two hours of charging time is needed for a range of 100 and 200 km respectively. The charging times are doubled if the charging capacity is 7 kW, as would be the case in a normal household. Both of these BlueZERO vehicles incorporate an electronic control unit that supports intelligent charging stations and billing systems, it said.
At the rear, the BlueZERO E-CELL PLUS has the same 1.0-litre turbocharged gasoline engine as an additional range extender. This compact three-cylinder powerplant has an output of 50 kW at a constant 3500 rpm. If required, it can recharge the 17.5-kWh lithium-ion battery by means of a similarly rated alternator. A range of up to 600 km is possible on a single tank. The purely electrical, locally emission-free range is up to 100 km. The BlueZERO F-CELL with fuel-cell drive achieves a range of well over 400 km with zero emissions (as per NEDC).
"This is yet another clear statement from Mercedes-Benz that environmental awareness and driving pleasure will continue to go together in our vehicles in the future. We want people to realize at first sight that the Concept BlueZERO is definitively not a lesser option,"<