Published on March 23rd, 2015 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Mercedes C 350 Plug-in Hybrid Experience
There is a good reason why we were brought to San Francisco United States to test drive an all new plug-in hybrid car from Mercedes Benz. With most of the world’s biggest technology companies located nearby, the city is having more than its fair share of concept cars and new generation hybrid cars being tested by locals and well as the global media. Also, the weather is more predictable and the roads outside the city offer good driving experience. However under the watchful eye of the local traffic police at nearly every major intersection and open road, we had to keep ourselves reminded that the powerful motor under this C 350e will have to be left for another day in another country.
With an all-electric range of up to 31 kilometres after a full charge this C-Class offers 100% electric driving for basic city commuting. Its four-cylinder petrol engine, in conjunction with a powerful electric motor, gives it a total system output of 279hp with a system torque of 600 Nm.
The new C 350e thus delivers the performance of a sports car while offering a certified consumption of just 2.1 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres in both its saloon and estate variants. This corresponds to CO2 emissions of 48 grams per kilometre. It comes equipped as standard with AIRMATIC air suspension plus a pre-entry climate control system that can be controlled via the internet, adding up to a truly exceptional level of driving and climate comfort.
Following the C 300 BlueTEC HYBRID, the C 350e is the second hybrid model in the new C-Class and the second Mercedes-Benz model to feature plug-in hybrid technology. Thanks to their combination of internal combustion engine and electric motor, hybrid drives stand out with their low consumption and high performance. The electric motor can replace or support the combustion engine and makes use of energy generated while braking by converting it into useful electric energy, which is stored and reused.
The C 350e employs the currently most advanced hybrid technology. Its electrical energy storage unit is a high-voltage lithium-ion battery with a total capacity of 6.38 kWh, which can be charged from an external power source to make an effective contribution to the low consumption and emission figures. The battery is water-cooled, weighs around 100 kilograms and is mounted in a sheet steel housing underneath the rear axle in order to maximise crash safety, driving dynamics and boot space.
Thanks to an intelligent on-board charging system, the battery can be recharged in around 1 hour 30 minutes at a wall-box or at a public charging points (230 V, 16 A, 3.7 kW single-phase), which in some cases offer privileged parking. Alternatively, charging via a domestic power socket is, of course, also possible.
Depending on the connection, a charge time of around two hours is achievable (with 230 V and 13 A, 3.0 kW, single-phase).
Despite the space taken up by the battery, the C 350 e still has a boot capacity of 335 litres in its saloon format and 350 litres in the estate model or, in the latter case, 1370 litres with the rear-seat backrests folded down and, as ever, a level load compartment floor.
This Mercedes C 350e is slated for Malaysian introduction however a date has not be mentioned. US residents can start booking the car today.