Mercedes EVs to match petrol range, refuelling convenience
This bold new future will be revealed by the organisation, wrapped in the body of an upscale SUV, at the Paris Motor Show in September.The world’s oldest carmaker said it is already outlining the technology that would be packaged inside its new hero and which it says is capable of easily out-performing the Tesla that currently sets the standard for electric cars.
It has developed a skateboard-style mechanical platform wrapped around a 400-kilogram lithium-ion battery pack, with electric motors at both ends, all-wheel drive, inductive charging and a huge suite of Apps and technologies that will be easily upgraded to full autonomous driving.
Director of E-Drive System Integration at Daimler, Jurgen Schenk said: “We are going to change the world. It’s the beginning of new vehicle architecture. We think it will be a transformation.
“The first car will be on sale this decade. It will be followed by a wide range of vehicles, more and more.”Schenk is the head of a 450-member development team that’s already been through six generations of electric car programs, mostly based on the baby Smart car and suitable for short-haul city work.
But the big breakthrough will begin in 2019 when the full-sized battery-electric concept from Paris becomes a road-going reality with answers to all of the current shortcomings in plug-in cars.
Schenk said that the flexibility of the new architecture means any body style – he calls it “the hut” – can sit on top of the electric drive platform, from a luxury sedan to an SUV, but the real improvements are in the basic technology.
He promised high-performance electric cars that will easily outpace the existing turbocharged V8 petrol muscle cars produced by Benz’s AMG division.
That means an end to the ‘range anxiety’ of electric cars, the long recharging times, and the perception that they are slow
He added: “We can match the performance of any car on the road, and it’s easy.”Talking specifics on the production version of the future car, he confirms it will be built with right-hand drive and will likely be sold in Australia. It will also be engineered so it can be built in any of Benz’s existing factories, although battery production needs to be ramped up to satisfy demand.