Frankfurt 2011: Mercedes-Benz E-CELL Plus Concept

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Mercedes-Benz is once again debuting new electric vehicle technology that will shortly make its way to production vehicles.

Mercedes-Benz has officially premiered their first electric vehicle with Range Extender technology at this year's Frankfurt Auto Show. But when thinking of advanced EV technology such as this, you may be a little surprised to see that the German automaker chose to stuff it into their B-Class, which is not exactly the most exciting model in their lineup. However, Range Extender technology is ideal for a vehicle of the B-Class's size and functionality.

How it works is that there's an energy accumulator (in this case a lithium-ion battery) that enables emissions-free driving up to 62 miles. With the addition of the three-cylinder gasoline engine, the E-CELL Plus concept can travel up to 372 miles. The gasoline engine performs a dual role: at low speeds it charges the battery via a generator. At higher speeds, such as longer highway drives, it also serves as a driving engine, acting on the front wheels together with the electric motor. It also makes use of a newly developed automatic transmission.

According to Professor Dr. Thomas Weber who's responsible for group research and development say that "This innovative and highly flexible concept meets our customers' wish for emissions-free driving coupled with a large range." Sound impressive? We think so and Mercedes has announced that this technology will go into production beginning in 2014.


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