Just the same latest generation of diesel engines presented, Mercedes-Benz is now further increasing the pace. An electric car platform for Mercedes-Benz, a fuel cell SUV and an extensive strategy for the hybridization of classic drive forms. Over the next two years, Mercedes-Benz will invest 14.5 billion in research and development, half of which will be used for the area of e-mobility. 14.5 billion in the technological future! Mercedes-Benz is on the way to electrify all series and this is a real task - because there have never been more model series at the Stuttgart-based automobile manufacturer.
Mercedes-Benz electrifies mobility
New: 5-teilige series for the electric mobility strategy at Mercedes-Benz
mein-auto-blog presents an 5 series on the electrification strategy at Mercedes-Benz Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL, a PHEV with fuel cell technology.
GLC F-CELL - fuel cell + connector, packed in an SUV
Mercedes-Benz currently sees the fuel cell as an integral part of its own electrification strategy. At the same time, however, a pure electric vehicle platform will be built that is very similar to the TESLA architecture. In principle, Mercedes-Benz is betting on the possibilities of the future. And fills out two lottery tickets. Just in case - one will win. If battery technology does not make the necessary leaps in development so that charging times are drastically reduced - you win with the fuel cell. If the charging infrastructure improves massively and the charging times shorten, you can win with the electric car platform (more about this platform in part 3 of the series).
The SUV with the plug
As early as 2017, Mercedes-Benz will be offering a GLC that has neither a diesel nor a gasoline engine under the bonnet. At exactly this point, however, a fuel cell will be placed, the layout and structure of the auxiliary units resembling an “engine block”. This hardware is used to grab the existing framework of the plug-in hybrid technology that Mercedes-Benz already has. An update of the cell technology will also offer an increase in range for all PHEV models from Mercedes-Benz without having to redesign the entire layout. Mercedes-Benz is benefiting from the constant leaps in development in battery technology.
The placement of the fuel cell in the engine compartment becomes possible after developing a new generation of fuel cells. 30% smaller than before, it is possible for the first time to ship the system in the classic engine compartment. A reduction of the platinum content by 90% also reduces the pure manufacturing costs of the fuel cell.
The fuel cell is powered by a 6-kilogram hydrogen tank. This sits in the place of the classic transmission, in the area of the transmission tunnel and under the seat. Where else would the petrol / diesel tank hide? The omission of transmission and drive components, however, also makes a new construction of the rear axle necessary. While the plug-in hybrid technology with its components, control units and 9 kWh battery from the current PHEV models is basically known, eliminating the powertrain with electric motor in the automatic transmission. This is where an e-motor, which sits on the rear axle and brings the GLC by rear-wheel drive to drive. Mercedes-Benz has not yet come up with performance data at this point.
Fuel cells E-Class and C-Class?
What is special about this implementation is the possibility of producing the GLC in the Bremen plant on the same line as the combustion and compression-ignition engines. Theoretically, the effort to convert the GLC into a PHEV fuel cell vehicle has remained within manageable limits and the technology could also be adapted for the C and E class. Why did you choose the GLC? Probably because SUVs are just “hip” at the moment.
Combination of PHEV and fuel cell
Offering the first mass-produced fuel cell SUV in the same PHEV range allows for more power design flexibility. The nearly 9kWh large battery of the PHEV models serves as an additional power storage and thus increases the performance of the entire drive train. Thus, as long as this battery is charged, can achieve a much more dynamic driving behavior. In addition, the large battery serves as an efficient storage for the recuperated energy.
At the same time, Mercedes-Benz has announced that it will set the standard for CCS charging plugs for future models (from 2018 upwards). Thus, in the future increased fast charging power can be implemented and a Bi-Directional delivery of electricity is also possible. Especially when we talk about the future, via smart grid power grids, this bi-directional charging ability is enormously important.
For the very near future we are looking forward to the first hydrogen PHEV SUV from Mercedes-Benz.
More about electric strategy at Mercedes-Benz, read in the coming week![divider] [/ divider]
- Part 1 - The fuel cell SUV
- Part 2 - The 48-volt technology for classic drives
- Part 3 - The electric car platform from Mercedes-Benz
- Part 4 - Electromobility B2B in the city
- Part 5- The new smart Electric Drive