We continue to follow our road to fully emission-free driving with batteries or fuel cells. We already have an extensive range of all-electric vehicles on the road today that encompasses nine models and demonstrates that these vehicles are not just clean and quiet, but also offer plenty of driving fun.
Thanks to the electric motor, the peak torque is available instantly, making powerful acceleration possible. And that is true for all electric vehicles from Daimler, today and tomorrow: from swift city runabouts and urban buses to the superlative with regard to performance, powertrain technology and design – the SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive. Our electric vehicles offer high efficiency, virtually silent running and a level of safety and spaciousness equal to those of conventionally powered vehicles. Nonetheless, there are a number of challenges that result in electric vehicles not dominating our roads just yet. The requirements that still must be met for smooth operation in future are more range, more power, lower system costs and the establishment of an infrastructure. These will also enhance the convenience for our customers. We are working on all these fronts together with our partners.
Future already on the road today
If there is one vehicle in our electric fleet that deserves special mention, it is our smart electric drive (ed). Not just because it was the first - it hit the roads in a pilot project in London as far back as 2007 - but also because it is particularly perfect as a swift all-electric city runabout: with a range of 145 kilometres, it is the right environmentally friendly alternative for the big city. And using a combination of wall box charger, 3-phase charging cable and 22-kW on-board charger, the smart is actually fully recharged in about an hour. The third generation of the smart ed with a lithium-ion battery from Daimler subsidiary ACCUMOTIVE was launched in 2012 and is available in 19 markets in Europe, North America and Asia. The new generation of the smart fortwo electric drive will arrive in dealer showrooms in 2016.
We are using a comprehensive approach in the area of electric mobility: For example, as part of a pilot project for the smart fortwo electric drive, we feed energy produced from renewable sources into the German power grid – equal to the amount required for the operation of the smart fortwo electric drive vehicles sold in Germany.
Fascinatingly electric, audibly clean: the B-Class Electric Drive
Since November 2014, we have been offering the B-Class Electric Drive for sale, the first all-electric vehicle model ever from Mercedes-Benz. It seats five people and holds plenty of luggage. The B-Class Electric Drive has a range of about 200 kilometres and reaches an – electronically limited – top speed of 160 km/h. Over the entire product life cycle – production, use for 160,000 kilometres and recycling – the B-Class Electric Drive produces 64 percent less CO2 emissions than a comparable B 180 petrol model.
Made in and for China: the DENZA electric car
In autumn 2014, we launched DENZA in cooperation with BYD Daimler New Technology Co., Ltd., a joint venture based in Shenzhen. DENZA is the first electric car produced entirely in and for China. Apart from a remarkable range of up to 300 kilometres, DENZA scores points in particular as the safest electric car on the Chinese market.
As our photo gallery shows, even all-electric Daimler commercial vehicles are already available today:
Driving on fuel cell technology
Electric vehicles with fuel cell drive are also suitable for long driving distances due to their great range and quick refueling. The electricity is generated in the vehicle itself from hydrogen, which is fueled as in a traditional vehicle. Emission-free driving will only become attractive to customers for longer distances if sufficient fueling stations become available. That is why Daimler is promoting the development of a comprehensive hydrogen infrastructure jointly with partners from politics and the energy sector. That fuel-cell vehicles can be built in series production was demonstrated in 2014 by a B-Class F-CELL from the current fuel-cell fleet of Mercedes-Benz. The vehicle set an endurance record of 300,000 kilometers driven under normal everyday conditions.
H2 mobility: Partnership for hydrogen
By founding the joint venture H2 MOBILITY Deutschland GmbH & Co.KG, Daimler and its partners Air Liquide, Linde, OMV, Shell and Total have laid the foundation for the gradual expansion of the nationwide hydrogen (H2) refueling network. The H2 MOBILITY initiative plans a network of around 400 H2 filling stations in Germany by 2023. This would make Germany the first country to have a nationwide network for refueling fuel cell powered vehicles with hydrogen. Investments totaling around EUR 400 million are planned.
Wireless charging of electric drive and plug-in hybrid vehicles
One of the next steps on the way to perfect electric drive and plug-in hybrid vehicles is wireless charging. Daimler and BMW have now agreed on jointly developing and implementing one common technology. Wireless charging of the battery will make the handling of electric drive and plug-in hybrid vehicles even easier. Mercedes-Benz will commence fleet testing of this “unplugged” technology with the S 500 PLUG IN HYBRID soon, in order to develop a real S-Class solution in recharging the high voltage battery in terms of comfort and ease of operating in the near future.
The system consists of two components: a secondary coil integrated into the under tray of the car and a primary coil integrated into a floor plate that can be placed on a garage floor for instance. Electrical energy is transmitted contact-free without the need for a cable, at a power rate of 3.6 kW and with a degree of efficiency of 90%. Daimler and BMW have agreed on jointly developing and implementing one common technology for wireless recharging high-voltage batteries of electric drive and plug-in hybrid vehicles.