Plug-in hybrids are an important milestone on the road to zero-emissions driving. Mercedes‑Benz Cars is pushing ahead with the development of its plug-in hybrids under the EQ Power label. With the A 250 e, A 250 e Saloon and B 250 e models from the compact-car family with the third-generation hybrid drive are now celebrating their premiere. The A 250 e and A 250 e Saloon can be ordered now and sale of the B 250 e starts in a few weeks. The EQ Power for the A- and B-Class underscores Mercedes-Benz's plug-in initiative: the company aims to extend its offering to more than 20 model variants by 2020. For more information see the IDTechEx report on Electric Motors for Electric Vehicles: Land, Water, Air 2019-2029.
New compact vehicles with EQ Power highlights:
- Electric operating ranges of 70-75 km (NEDC)
- Electric output 75 kW
- System output 160 kW
- System torque 450 Nm
- Top speed 140 km/h (electric)/235 km/h (total; A-Class Compact Saloon)
- Acceleration 0-100 km/h in 6.6 seconds (A-Class Compact Saloon)
- Hardly any restrictions on the load compartment.
For the first time on a Mercedes-Benz vehicle, the combustion engine is started by the electric motor - the compact hybrids do not have a separate 12-volt starter.
The electric machine achieves 75 kW. Together with the 1.33-litre four-cylinder engine this adds up to a system output of 160 kW (218 hp) and a system torque of 450 Nm. Thanks to the EQ Power of the electric machine the A 250 e and B 250 e react immediately to a step on the accelerator, and the performance is impressive: the A 250 e, for example, requires 6.6 seconds for the sprint from 0 to 100 km/h, and its top speed is 235 km/h.
A lithium-ion high-voltage battery with a total capacity of approx. 15.6 kWh is used as an electric energy storage unit. The batteries are supplied by the wholly owned Daimler subsidiary Deutsche ACCUMOTIVE. The high-voltage battery is water-cooled and weighs approx. 150 kg.
Because the compact vehicles use third-generation plug-in technology, all of their functions are also available. These include in particular the intelligent, route-based operating strategy, taking factors such as navigation data, speed regulations and route into account. The operating strategy takes into account the entire planned route and prioritises the electric driving mode for the most sensible route sections in each case.
With the launch of MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) the previous plug-in operating modes of all EQ Power models have been converted to drive programs. That means that in every Mercedes-Benz plug-in hybrid the new drive programs "Electric" and "Battery Level" are available. This is the case from the outset for the compact models. Maximum e-performance can be experienced in "Electric". The combustion engine is only engaged if the driver uses kickdown on the accelerator pedal. In the "Electric" program the recuperation strength can also be selected via paddles behind the steering wheel. The paddles on the steering wheel enable the selection of five different recuperation levels.
Comfort, ECO and Sport modes are also available. According to the given requirements, the driver is thus able to give priority to electric driving, place the emphasis on driving dynamics in combined drive mode or give preference to combustion mode in order to save electric range, for example.
A key comfort feature is pre-entry climate control before the vehicle is started, because the A 250 e and B 250 e have an electric refrigerant compressor. The pre-entry climate control can also be activated conveniently by smartphone.
By the end of 2019 Mercedes-Benz will have more than ten plug-in hybrids in the range and the aim is to be able to offer customers well over 20 model variants in 2020. The next member of the EQ Power family will be the GLE with a planned range of around 100 km.
Source and top image: Daimler