First Lithium-Ion Battery in Mass-Produced Passenger Car

21 Jan

Available in the Mercedes-Benz S 400 BlueHYBRID (Summer 2009)

Oil Obit News/Daimler PR/Stuttgart/January 15, 2009: The ADAC (German Automobile Association) has awarded its “Gelber Engel 2009” (Yellow Angel) to Daimler AG and its systems partner Continental in the Innovation & Environment category. The Stuttgart carmaker was selected for the award by Europe’s largest automobile club in recognition of its lithium-ion battery, the first such battery ever to be successfully integrated into a production passenger car. The Mercedes-Benz S 400 BlueHYBRID featuring this pioneering technology will have its market launch in summer 2009.

2009 Lithium ion battery Mercedes-Benz S400 BlueHYBRID The Stuttgart-based company is the world’s first carmaker to successfully adapt lithium-ion technology – currently used predominantly in consumer electronics – to the heavy demands of production passenger cars. Daimler AG holds a total of 25 patents that collectively facilitated the breakthrough in this important technology. A crucial element in the company’s success was its groundbreaking integration of a lithium-ion battery into the vehicle’s air-conditioning circuit. As a result of this, the battery unit is able to operate at optimum system temperatures between 15-35°C at all times, thus achieving a long service life for use in passenger cars (10 calendar years; 600,000 charging cycles) coupled with maximum efficiency.

Dr. Thomas Weber, the member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Group Research and Development Mercedes-Benz Cars, accepted the “Yellow Angel” award together with Heinz-Gerhard Wente, member of the Board of Management of Continental AG responsible for Human Resources and the ContiTech Division. Daimler’s lithium-ion technology was chosen as the year’s top innovation out of 51 applications from 42 companies by a jury comprised of experts from the ADAC, the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), the Association of Motor Vehicle Importers (VDIK) and the German Association for Motor Trade and Repair (ZDK). The number of entries was the highest since the ADAC “Yellow Angel” awards were introduced.

World’s Lowest CO2 Emissions For Class of Vehicle

The innovative battery will be launched in the new Mercedes-Benz S 400 BlueHYBRID as early as summer 2009. The combination of the V6 petrol engine with the compact hybrid module will make the S 400 BlueHYBRID the world’s most economic petrol-engined luxury saloon. NEDC (combined) fuel consumption amounts to just 7.9 litres per 100 kilometers, giving world-best figures for CO2 emissions of just 186 grams per kilometer for this category of vehicle and output. In conjunction with an intelligent energy management system, the new model offers a comprehensive range of hybrid characteristics, including a user-friendly stop/start function for the petrol engine, boost effect and regenerative braking.

Compact, Efficient

The advantage of the lithium-ion battery over conventional nickel-metal hydride batteries lies principally in its compact dimensions combined with much greater efficiency. Compared with NiMH technology, lithium-ion batteries better energy density by 30 percent and power-to-weight ratio by 50 percent. Moreover, they boast a high recharge efficiency and long service life. Lithium-ion batteries also have the lowest environmental impact of all battery technologies and guarantee a sustainable and cost-effective feedstock. Their high safety levels are on a par with those of current car batteries.

As Mercedes-Benz’s system partner, the international automotive supplier Continental was responsible for software development and overall system application. A complex battery management system ensures the battery remains within an optimum operating range at all times. The electronics also monitor general functions such as temperature and energy output as compared with battery age. Safety circuits prevent the battery from overheating, for example, and a ‘cell supervising circuit’ monitors individual cells so as to guarantee optimum interaction. Production of the battery will be overseen by Continental at a new production facility in Nuremberg.

Award Winner

In its Innovation & Environment category, the ADAC recognizes outstanding initiatives, projects or innovations in the fields of road and vehicle safety and environmental protection in road transport and automotive development. Application is open to institutions, organizations, institutes and companies. A basic requirement is that all innovations have already been successfully put into practice.

In 2006 Mercedes-Benz received the prestigious award in the Innovation & Environment category for the world’s cleanest diesel technology BlueTEC, achieving the same feat again in 2007 for its Active Brake Assist for trucks.

“Yellow Angels 2009” were awarded in five categories: Car, Brand, Quality, Innovation & Environment and Personality. They are considered one of the most prestigious European car awards and looked upon by consumers as valuable yardsticks, since they take into account criteria such as price-performance ratio, practicality, economic efficiency, safety and environmental compatibility.

Mercedes-Benz finished runner-up in the Brand category for 2009, as it did with the CLK in the Quality category. In the Car category for 2009 the SLK achieved third place, following a first place with the C-Class in 2008.

Mercedes-Benz S 400 BlueHYBRID

04 Oct

S400 BLUE Hybrid Mercedes-BenzMercedes-Benz is launching the S 400 BlueHYBRID, its first passenger car model equipped with a hybrid drive system, in summer 2009. The combination of a modified V6 petrol engine and a compact hybrid module makes the S 400 BlueHYBRID the world’s most economical luxury saloon with a petrol engine.
The NEDC combined fuel consumption is 7.9 litres per 100 kilometres. This makes for the world’s lowest CO2 emissions in this vehicle and performance class – 190 grams per kilometre. These exemplary figures go hand in hand with assured performance. The 3.5-litre petrol engine develops an output of 205 kW/279 hp, the electric motor generates 15 kW/20 hp and a starting torque of 160 Nm. The result is a combined output of 220 kW/299 hp and a combined maximum torque of 385 newton metres.

The compact hybrid module is a disc-shaped electric motor that also acts as a starter and generator. The system offers a double benefit, as it both helps to save fuel and increases driving enjoyment. This is partly due to the booster effect of the electric motor, as it powerfully backs up the petrol engine with a maximum additional torque of 160 newton metres during the high-consumption acceleration phase. The S 400 BlueHYBRID accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.2 seconds, and reaches an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h.

The hybrid module also has a comfortable start/stop function, which switches the engine off when the vehicle is at a standstill – for example at traffic lights. When it’s time to move off again, the electric motor almost imperceptibly restarts the main power unit. This likewise makes a contribution to fuel economy and environmental protection: because the engine restarts first time, and practically instantly, emissions are also minimised during the starting phase.

When the vehicle is braked the electric motor acts as a generator, and is able to recover braking energy by a process known as recuperation. Working in finely tuned partnership, the electric motor supplements the braking effect of the petrol engine and the wheel brakes to deliver a smoothly progressive braking action. The recuperated energy is stored in a compact yet highly efficient lithium-ion battery in the engine compartment, and made available when required. This complex system is managed by a high-performance control unit, which is likewise located in the engine compartment.

Milestone on the Road to Electrification
The center piece of the modular, very compact and highly efficient hybrid drive system is the new high-voltage lithium-ion battery, which was specially developed for automotive use and is the first such unit worldwide to be introduced in a series-production vehicle. In this way Mercedes-Benz is making a trailblazing contribution to the electrification of the car, with the S-Class playing the role of the technological trendsetter.

Major advantages over conventional nickel/metal hydride batteries include a higher energy density and better electrical efficiency, together with more compact dimensions and a lower weight. Thanks to space-saving installation in the engine compartment, where it replaces the conventional starter battery, the interior space and boot capacity of the S 400 remain unchanged.

Additional Resources

Green Car Journal – Article coverage of the Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid

The 2009 S400 BlueHYBRID will be Mercedes-Benz’ first hybrid passenger car and also the first mass-production hybrid with a lithium-ion battery that’s been specially developed for automotive use. The S Class hybrid will go sale in Europe in June 2009 and be available in the U.S. three months later.

Based on the S350, The S400 BlueHYBRID has a 3.5-liter V-6 gasoline engine mated to a 7G-TRONIC seven-speed automatic transmission with reprogrammed management software for the hybrid application. It also has a new auxiliary oil pump for transmission lubrication even when the engine is switched off.