Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Mercedes S-Class Electric Car Could Follow Plug-In Hybrid

Mercedes' chief of large cars Dr Uwe Ernstberger says that while an all-electric S-Class isn't an immediate priority, a full battery electric car "will be done in the future".

The car's battery pack is the perennial sticking point--Mercedes is keen to work on finding the right capacity and size to work for S-Class customers.

The priority, he says, is not to sacrifice the S-Class's famed creature comforts and technology simply to carry a battery pack around.

Mercedes has already confirmed an S-Class plug-in hybrid, which Dr Ernstberger says is ideal for occasional trips into the city. The car's electric range is between 15-18 miles, enough to cover brief spells in cities considering zero-emission centers.

The rest of the time, a relatively small (for a luxury sedan) 3-liter V-6 gasoline engine will provide the power--328 horsepower of it--and refinement that Mercedes buyers expect. Importantly, a compact lithium-ion battery pack won't impact upon the car's packaging.

It could be a while before we see an all-electric S-Class though, as even the plug-in hybrid model won't hit U.S. shores until early 2015.

We may be waiting less for a different aspect of S-Class technology though--autonomous driving.

"I think the S-Class is at the very top of the movement of autonomous driving," Ernstberger told.The new S-Class already features several autonomous functions--and it's only really legislation stopping Mercedes going further.

source:greencarreports