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.

The Green Mercedes-Benz

21 Sep

Lithium-Ion Batteries to Power a New Class of Mercedes-Benz Hybrids

We have learned that Mercedes-Benz has announced plans to produce the first hybrid cars with powerful lithium-ion batteries. The cars are slated for the assembly line in 2009. Expect Mercedes-Benz to unveil additional details this week concerning the new car battery to be used in the luxury S-class line of hybrids.

You can read about what we know so far at AMG Market | Mercedes-Benz Enthusiasts.

This is a significant advancement in battery technology when compared to the nickel batteries used in the Toyota Prius. Sources claim the nickel batteries in the Prius have about a five year life before they need to be replaced, which costs the owner upwards of $5,000.  If true, the resale values of the Prius with original batteries will plumet in the coming years.

Toyota hopes to eventually replace the old nickel batteries with the lithium ion, as an article in Businessweek stated: “Yet Toyota should soon be giving the environmental lobby something to cheer about. In an interview with BusinessWeek on Feb. 16, Chief Executive Katsuaki Watanabe confirmed that Toyota’s third-generation hybrid cars, due out in late 2008 or early 2009, will use lithium-ion batteries.” (source: Toyota Prius Battery); website includes extensive info on the Prius batteries).

Toyota has previously delayed making the switch due to safety concerns even though the change could result in significant improvements to the Prius. Conversion kits are reportedly available in the aftermarket today. Using a battery made by Hymotion and A123 systems, you can get an aftermarket kit that converts the Prius into a plug-in hybrid. Subsequent to the conversion, one can drive up to 40 miles at the beginning of a trip on electric power alone. With the kit installed, the company claims drivers can expect 150 MPG city and 100 MPG highway.

Back in February of this year, Treehugger.com reported on the manufacturing facility slated to produce the batteries for Mercedes-Benz:

John Reed in the Financial Times reports that Johnson Controls and Saft, a U.S. supplier group and French battery producer, respectively, are set to break ground on a factory dedicated to the exclusive production of advanced lithium-ion batteries for cars. The facility, which will supply a range of automakers, including GM, Chrysler and Mercedes-Benz, is based in Nersac, France; its yearly production capacity will initially be 5,000 battery packs with the option to scale up if demand warrants it.