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Mercedes-Benz launches another hybrid: The C 350 E

07.07.2016

Following its premiere in the S-Class, Mercedes-Benz is now offering its hybrid technology in the C-Class. With a range of 31 kilometres in purely electric mode, local emission-free driving is now a reality.

The figures

Its four-cylinder petrol engine, in conjunction with an electric motor, gives it a total system output of 205kW/600Nm. Claimed consumption is 2.1 litres/100km. This corresponds to CO2 emissions of 65 grams per kilometre. The C 350 e is equipped as standard with Airmatic air suspension plus a Pre-Entry Climate Control system that can be controlled via the internet.

Made in South Africa

A first for the Mercedes-Benz East London plant is the manufacture of a C-Class with hybrid technology for both local and export markets. 

“The successful manufacture of the C 350 e sedan at our award winning Mercedes-Benz East London plant to exacting world-class standards, is another milestone in our illustrious 68-year history of engineering excellence,” says Arno van der Merwe, CEO Mercedes-Benz South Africa & Executive Director Manufacturing.

The East London plant celebrated a record milestone of one-million vehicles produced in May 2015 and continues to receive a number of accolades and awards.

How does the system work?

The vehicle uses a high-voltage lithium-ion battery with a total capacity of 6.2 kWh, which can be charged from an external power source and so makes an effective contribution to the low consumption and emission figures. The battery is water-cooled, weighs around 100 kilograms and is mounted in a sheet steel housing underneath the rear axle in order to maximise crash safety, driving dynamics and boot space.

There's an on-board charging system, the battery can be recharged in around 1 hour 45 minutes at a wall-box (230 V, 16 A, 3.7 kW single-phase). Alternatively, charging via a standard domestic socket is of course also possible. Depending on the connection, a charge time of around two hours is achievable (with 230 V and 13 A, 3.0 kW).  Despite the space taken up by the battery, the C 350 e still has a boot capacity of 335 litres.

Performance

This sedan sprints to 100 km/h in 5.9 seconds and reaches a top speed of 250 km/h in conjunction with the affore-mentioned fuel consumption of 2.1 litres/100km. 

fetures above a normal C-Class

  • Silent start: the vehicle starts virtually silently and runs in electric mode. At this point the combustion engine is generally held inactive. Electric output of up to 60 kW is available for driving in all-electric mode.
  • Boost: the electric motor kicks in to boost the output of the combustion engine by a further 60 kW – for example for rapid acceleration. 
  • Energy recuperation: during braking and coasting, energy is recovered and stored in the battery. This energy can then be used at a later stage for electric driving or the boost function.
  • If, when driving in electric mode, the driver's foot meets a point of resistance on the accelerator pedal, this is an indication that maximum electric performance is being delivered. If the driver continues to depress the accelerator beyond this resistance point, the combustion engine will kick in.
  • A double impulse from the Eco Assist function signals that the driver should remove their foot from the accelerator pedal in order to switch off the combustion engine and decouple it from the drive train. Assuming that the driver does what the double impulse suggests, the intelligent engine management system of the C 350 e will vary the deceleration mode between unpowered (sailing) and recuperation, using data from the car's radar systems as its basis.

Driving modes

 

  • Hybrid: all hybrid functions such as electric operating mode, boost and recuperation are available and are applied according to the driving situation and route in the most fuel-efficient manner.
  • E-mode: used for all-electric driving – for example in inner-city areas or because the battery holds sufficient charge for the remainder of the journey.
  • E-save: the charge status of the battery is maintained – for example to allow all-electric driving in an environmental zone at a later stage in the journey. Electric driving and the boost function are only available for a limited extent.
  • Charge: allows the battery to be recharged while driving using the combustion engine – for example in order to ensure a higher state of battery charge for later parts of the journey. The combustion engine remains switched on and fuel consumption may increase. Electric operation is not possible.

Pricing and availability

 Customer vehicles vehicles will arrive in August 2016 with a base price of R804 900 with a six-year/100 000 km PremiumDrive maintenance plan.  

Article written by
07.07.2016
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