Mercedes-Benz has introduces the new A-Class E-CELL as its second electric car built in series-production conditions after B-Class B-CELL.
The Mercedes-Benz A-Class E-CELL is based on the five-door version of the current A-Class, and features a generous interior space and luggage compartment for maximum versatility.
No compromises have been necessary in terms of space and variability, with compact storage batteries that are located extremely well-protected and in a space-saving way in the vehicle underbase.
The car’s two high-efficiency lithium-ion batteries provide a range of over 124 miles (NEDC). The car is powered by a quiet, locally emission-free electric drive with peak output of 95 hp, developing a high torque of 290 Nm.
A total production run of 500 A-Class E-CELL cars will be built at Rastatt from autumn 2010. The vehicles will be leased to selected customers in several European countries, including Germany, France and the Netherlands.
“Over our almost 125-year history, we have accumulated extensive experience and know how in the area of electric vehicles, including both battery and fuel-cell. This know how has already provided the basis for getting two electric cars for everyday use onto the road: the smart fortwo electric drive, and the B-Class F-CELL. The story now continues with our third electric car, the A-Class E-CELL., whose start of production is scheduled for autumn this year. The new car is a battery-driven electric Mercedes that enlarges our portfolio and offers our customers the kind of driving pleasure, comfort and safety that they have come to expect”, says Dr Thomas Weber, the Daimler AG Board of Management member responsible for Group Research and Development Mercedes-Benz Cars.
High-performance electric drive with long range
The electric drive of the A-Class E-CELL is a permanent-field synchronous unit developing a peak output of 95 hp, a continuous power rating of 68 hp and a high maximum torque of 290 Nm, as expected for an electric drive, available right from the first revolution. This makes the A-Class E-CELL an outstandingly assured and dynamic performer on the road, taking just 5.5 seconds to accelerate from 0-37 mph. A kick-down function is used to deliver maximum acceleration, according to the current charge level and battery temperature. Maximum speed is electronically set at 93 mph.
The energy storage units are two high-performance lithium-ion batteries based on high-voltage technology. The advantages of lithium-ion batteries include their compact dimensions and significantly higher efficiency in comparison with nickel-metal-hydride (NiMH) batteries. They offer 30 percent more energy density than NiMH technology, and 50 percent more power density. Other benefits include high charging efficiency and a long service life. The combined energy capacity of the two lithium-ion batteries is a total of 36 kWh. With fully charged batteries, the A-Class E-CELL has a range of over 124 miles (NEDC).
Efficient battery cooling system
A special thermomanagement system keeps the high-voltage batteries cooled to within an optimum temperature window. The cooling system is based on a low-temperature cooling circuit. Fluid cooling with a water-glycol mixture ensures a stable operating temperature supporting the high degree of efficiency and the longevity of the energy storage. In very high ambient temperature conditions, the battery cooling system is boosted with the coolant circuit of the air-conditioning system. The electrical drive system and two on-board chargers are cooled with a high-temperature cooling circuit. This circuit keeps the units working at optimum operating temperatures, with maximum power delivery from the drive system. The car’s power electronics supply the 12-volt vehicle electrical system via a DC/DC converter with electric current from the high-voltage system. The electronics system also controls other functions such as the heating and air-conditioning systems in order to minimize the load placed on the battery for this purpose.
Flexible charging options
The batteries of the A-Class E-CELL can be either replenished at public charging points or plugged into an ordinary household power socket. A range of charging options are available, including single-phase 230-volt sockets, three-phase sockets in a household wall-box, and public recharging points. Using a single-phase 230-volt network, it takes around eight hours’ charging time to accumulate the energy required for a range of 62 miles (NEDC). This time is reduced to just three hours in the case of charging from a wall-box or at a roadside recharging point.
Intelligent charging management
Like the smart fortwo electric drive in its category, the A-Class E-CELL is the world’s first vehicle in its class to be fitted with an intelligent charging management system based on “SmartCharge Communication”. Via the vehicle electronics system, all relevant information – such as the electricity supply contract identification data – is exchanged with the charging point. Benefits include a convenient, simple and totally reliable billing system.
Other intelligent features of the car include pre-start climate control. While the A-Class E-CELL batteries are being charged at home or at a roadside charging point, the interior can be pre-heated or cooled to a temperature set by the driver. Another function enables the driver to monitor charging progress and therefore the present range available, via the internet or a smartphone, for example.
The A-Class E-CELL electronics also provide for proactive control of the charging operation. So if the electric car is parked for a long period, recharging can be set to take place at times when electricity is cheaper, for example during the night. The intelligent interface in the A‑Class E‑CELL provides a range of billing, control and monitoring functions, making electric mobility convenient and safe, and therefore very customer-friendly. The vehicle is automatically immobilized on connection of the charging cable to the socket, preventing any possibility of driving off by mistake while charging is in progress. This makes the recharging operation even safer and more convenient for the user.[wzslider height=”400″ lightbox=”true”]