This year will see the renowned Stuttgart company enter the era of emission free-electric mobility with three series production models – the latest of which is the Mercedes-Benz A-Class E-CELL. As of October this year, it will join the Mercedes-Benz Cars line up of electric drive vehicles.The range already includes the smart fortwo electric drive, the pioneering battery-electric vehicle that has been in production since November 2009. Series production has also commenced on the fuel cell-powered Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL. With these three electric vehicles, the inventor of the automobile is setting decisively the scene for the era of electric mobility and redefining individual mobility.
“We are convinced that electric cars can make an important contribution to sustainable mobility, which is why we are bringing to market our first series production vehicles with electric drive. It is our objective to fulfil all our customers’ mobility demands by offering tailor-made vehicle concepts in the field of electric mobility, too,” says Dr. Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Group Research and Development Mercedes-Benz Cars.
The portfolio of electric vehicles from Mercedes-Benz Cars already encompasses the smart fortwo electric drive and the Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL. Series production of both cars began in 2009. These will be followed in October 2010 with the start of series production of the A-Class E-CELL in Rastatt. Initial plans are for low-volume production of more than 500 vehicles that will be rented to selected customers for a period of four years (or 60,000 kilometres).
The new A-Class E-CELL is based on the five-door version of the current A-Class. Exterior indications of the new electric drive version include amongst others the absence of an exhaust pipe and exhaust cut-out in the bodyshell, a fine, uni-colour paint finish in cirrus white and the “E-CELL” badge in silver script on the rear hatch.
Across the board, the new A-Class E-CELL will be delivered in the high-quality avant garde equipment level and offers the following additional highlights as standard: Bi-Xenon headlamps, COMAND APS, an active park assistant, THERMOTRONIC automatic climate control, window bags, side airbags in the rear and a sophisticated seating and lighting package.
Adequate propulsion is secured by up to70 kW output and 290 Nm of torque. The state-of-the-art lithium-ion battery enables a range of up to around 200 kilometres. Because the batteries are located in the vehicle’s innovative sandwich floor, room in the A-Class for passengers and luggage is for the benefit of the customer completely unaffected.
The new A-Class E-CELL makes a sensible addition to the Mercedes-Benz Cars line up of electric vehicles. Like all battery-electric vehicles, it is primarily suited to use in city traffic. As a full-blooded five-seater, with no restrictions to interior and useable space, it is the perfect complement to the smart fortwo electric drive, which is the pioneer in its field and is already in its second generation.
The new A-Class E-CELL is, like the smart fortwo electric drive and the B-Class F-CELL, also equipped with a highly efficient lithium-ion battery. While the smart already achieves an impressive range of 135 kilometres, the A-Class also reaches a best-in-class of 200 km. The Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL with fuel cell and electric drive carries its fuel on board and, with a range of around 400 km, is suited not only to zero-emissions driving in city traffic, but also to greater distances cross-country. Its tanks can be filled up with gaseous hydrogen via a worldwide standardized pump nozzle in just around three minutes.
The smart fortwo electric drive is currently being manufactured in the French city of Hambach in a production run of 1,000 vehicles. The two-seater is initially being delivered to selected customers in six European countries, the U.S. and Canada within a leasing-style rental program.
High-volume production of the smart electric drive will begin in 2012, when it will be available to all prospective buyers through the dealership network. Low-volume production of the Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL began in 2009. The first of the production run of around 200 vehicles will be delivered in 2010 to customers in Europe and the U.S.