Stuttgart. Daimler will invest more than seven billion euro in ‘green’ technologies in the next two years alone. Shortly, smart will be the only automaker worldwide to offer its entire model range both powered by internal combustion engines or operating on battery power. Mercedes-Benz will put the first fuel-cell-powered vehicle with plug-in technology into series production, the GLC F-CELL. In addition, the company is developing a dedicated vehicle architecture for battery-electric motor cars.
Following the just presented new diesel engine generation, a new family of petrol engines is in the starting blocks for 2017, which will again set efficiency standards and will be the first ever to be equipped with a particulate filter. The 48-volt on-board power supply will be introduced at the same time and starter-generators will become part of the standard specification. It will make fuel savings possible that previously were the exclusive domain of the high-voltage hybrid technology. At the same time, the Mercedes-Benz plug-in hybrid initiative is in full swing: In the GLC Coupé 350 e 4MATIC and the E 350 e, models number seven and eight are poised to arrive in dealer showrooms still in 2016. The next major technological leap will be made in 2017, starting with the model update of the S 500 e: for the first time, all-electric operating ranges exceeding 50 km will be made possible by an advancement of the lithium-ion battery together with a further optimised intelligent operating strategy.
“We will invest 14.5 billion euro in research and development in the next two years alone – more than half of it will again be spent on ‘green’ technologies. Just for our passenger cars, we are talking about 5.4 billion euro,” says Prof Dr Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. “As a matter of fact, no other manufacturer offers a comparable range of electrified vehicles and solutions in the field of electric mobility. The spectrum ranges from the smart city runabout and attractive Mercedes-Benz passenger cars to buses, coaches, and trucks of the Fuso brand. We will electrify all Mercedes-Benz passenger car model series step by step.“
Daimler deliberately opts not for a solitary type of powertrain for tomorrow’s mobility, but for a coexistence of different technologies. These are optimally tailored to the particular customer needs and vehicle models. Thomas Weber: “Customers are not looking to sacrifice in the sense of ‘less car’ – in the contrary. That is why we emphasise enhanced efficiency through more intelligent technology – and we do it consistently in all model series. All the mentioned types of powertrains – gasoline, diesel, plug-in-hybrids, batteries or hydrogen – have their justification and chances.”