Mercedes-Benz is Working for a Win

11.03.16 - 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive

The challenge of taking a company toward electric propulsion rather than gasoline powered engines isn’t as difficult as it might sound. The reality is the components of an electric lineup are pretty easy as long as you have a platform to start with you can build up from there. The real challenge for any company is convincing the public that electric power is the way to go. Currently electric vehicle sales account for less than one percent of the worldwide sales of vehicles, but Daimler is working to change that with a new Mercedes-Benz lineup that will feature as many as ten new electric vehicles by 2025.

Because an electric vehicle uses fewer parts you can produce them more easily which is why Mercedes-Benz is able to make the statement that they want to produce so many in a short period of time. Not only can you produce them more easily, the platform is more versatile than in typical vehicles. Until recently we didn’t know if Mercedes-Benz would ever enter the electric vehicle race, but as of now, we know they certainly are and plan to have a lineup that will make a huge difference for the future.

While the platform is one part of the challenge, and it seems Mercedes-Benz has that figured out, the other part is having a continuous supply of batteries that will get the job done. Right now, Mercedes-Benz is working on building a second factory just to produce the batteries needed to have in their lineup of electric vehicles. This will give them a way to enter the market in much the same way Tesla is working toward as they move toward the production of their own batteries for their lineup of purely electric luxury vehicles that are enjoyed around the world.

Once these two goals are reached, having the platform and the battery production, the plan is to have the battery cells in the floor of the electric lineup. This will help keep the center of gravity low and give the design team something they’ve never had to work with before, a flat floor in the vehicle to design a vehicle around. This will make for a flexible transition to the look and feel that we will enjoy in this new electric lineup from Mercedes-Benz once it’s completed. The battery packs will be able to expand in all three dimensions and the axle integrated motors will make for cleaner designs and more impressive looks.

While all this is impressive it doesn’t answer the question of how to make these vehicles more accepted on the market. The goal is to improve the infrastructure of charging statins by having one every eighteen miles to give owners a similar experience to having gas pumps all around their area. This figure is based upon the fact that the average commute is shorter than sixty miles, but it still doesn’t solve the charging time issue that these vehicles present.

In order to make electric vehicles easier and faster to charge, the upgrade will have to take the industry from 500V to 1000V and allow them to be ready for DC charging. The goal is to find a way to make charging happen at a rate of 300 kW or more, which will make it so that EVs are able to charge up in just as little time as you can fill up a gas tank now. When that happens, the EV models will certainly see sales that are much higher than they are now.

As you can see, Mercedes- Benz has set some lofty goals for themselves and for a company that has offered us massive engines of power in the past this move toward electricity will hopefully be just as successful a venture as they move forward. The future of Mercedes-Benz electric is bright and certainly what we can look forward to for some excellent vehicles.

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