Materials and concepts of the future: We’re making things lighter

Lighter, safer, lower resource utilization — the demands made of modern materials and concepts are the result of the changing needs of markets and society. We are constantly on the lookout for materials that will ensure continued mobility in the future.

It's the combination that does it

We use an intelligent mix of materials as a basis for deciding where we should employ which materials. Weight, life cycle assessments, economy and, above all, the component’s functional requirements play a major role here.

Awarded: fiber-reinforced technology

Because of requirements associated with fuel consumption and CO₂ emissions, the proportion of lightweight materials such as aluminum and fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP) that are used in our vehicles is set to increase further. The use of carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) composite technologies reduces weight and also significantly improves vehicle attributes such as torsional stiffness.

The multifunction well in the Mercedes AMG E-Class actually captured the Innovation AWARD at the renowned composites trade fair in Seoul. The award was presented in recognition of the efficient manufacturing process for the well (sheet molding compound — SMC — with short-cut carbon fiber), the intelligent integration of this process into the existing production landscape, and the achievement of a weight reduction of more than 40% as compared to the conventional steel solution.

High-voltage protection system for inductive battery charging

Inductive charging without cables or power outlets can significantly improve the driving experience and comfort of electric vehicles. Inductive charging can even be carried out when making short stops, and it requires no action on the part of the driver. It does present several challenges, however, including aspects related to protecting the battery and, in particular, the high-voltage charging component. As part of our electric mobility offensive, we are developing a new type of high-voltage protection system that meets all passive safety requirements and is completely recyclable.

Shaded parking and innovative charging for electric vehicles

We used a hybrid construction method to build a charging station for electric vehicles with 30 m2 of solar panels and stationary MB energy storage units. The station allows for fast charging and simultaneous stabilization of the energy supply. The green electricity generated onsite can also be stored locally. The design of this research object, which was built at our facility in Ulm, enables the seamless integration of 3D printing, highly efficient solar modules, and intelligent connected technologies.


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