A day on the track. And off road. To try to understand what the future of the automotive industry holds for us in times of climate crisis, emissions reduction, fierce claims against fossil fuels; while London is preparing to ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars from 2030, such as Sweden, Denmark and Germany, and the Netherlands and Norway will do so as early as 2025. Who better could organize them, if not Mercedes, which by 2030 intends to produce more 45 electrified models (at least 50% of sales) and it is proposed, for 2039, to stop all endothermic engines that use fossil fuels. A process that has already begun with the Smart, after the announcement in Valencia – last January – that the small of the house will henceforth be produced only with electric traction. In less than 3 industrial life cycles we will be carbon neutral – promises Eugenio Blasetti, Head of External Affairs at Mercedes-Benz Italia, who has been with the company for 31 years -. Our future will be electronic, it will be hydrogen and, if it arrives, also synthetic fuels.
Some of the Mercedes EQ Boost lined up for tests in Vallelunga (photo Zanini)
New dedicated platforms
As part of the Electric First strategy, the new EQA, EQS and EQS AMG will debut in 2021, while the EQB and EQE are expected in early 2022. The EQS will be the first car built on the new EVA (Electric Vehicle Architecture) architecture and will have an electric range of over 700 km (WLTP). It will be followed by the EQE, the EQS-SUV and the EQE-SUV. From 2025, many more models will enrich the electric vehicle portfolio thanks to the second brand new dedicated electric platform, the Mercedes-Benz Modular Architecture (MMA), designed for compact and midsize cars. It will also focus on the sub brands – AMG, Maybach and G – through a strategy that will raise them to an even higher level, accelerating their development and exploiting their full potential. In fact, starting from 2021 electrification will become an increasingly characteristic element of Mercedes-AMG’s performance.
The Mercedes EQC400 4 matic just before entering the track (Zanini)
Thrilling acceleration on the EQC400 4 matic
A few days ago, therefore, the house of the three-pointed star brought together experts in the sector in Vallelunga, the racetrack north of Rome, to invite them to test drives of the entire EQ Power, EQ Boost, Electric Experience, Suv EQ Power range. (off road). And convince communicators how exciting electric cars can be. Goal centered: feel the thrilling acceleration on an EQC400 4 matic launched on the track, or try the experience of a competition on electric Smart tortwoos like those preparing for the 2020 Smart E-Cup championship (six stages for six adrenaline-filled weekends ), really manages to make people perceive what is revolutionary and fun in the phenomenon of electrification. If the old prejudice of the silent and slow electric car is still in your head, update yourself. Given that the electric motors – both in the Ev ranges, both in the Hev and in the Phev ranges – are highly performing and give an unparalleled inspiration to the models previously equipped with only internal combustion engines, in Mercedes clean energy means first of all safety and performance, but also the cars of the future very fun and very pleasant to drive.
The electric racing Smart EQ fortwo, used in the 2020 Smart E-Cup championship
Big and small in comparison
There are already 20 plug-in models in the house; in 2025 there will be at least 10 electric and 25 Phev, and all the EQ and EE series are aimed at a specific target. Seeing all the cars together, all the souls of the electrification of such an important brand is a unique opportunity – says Blasetti, who has also been Director of Communications for 4 years – because it was possible to compare the Smart Eq with a car like the GLE 350 de (editor’s note: the large hybrid with a basic diesel engine, 194 hp, aided by the 136 hp of the added electric) with 100 km of autonomy, or on the GLE 53 AMG 4 matic EQ Boost (6 cylinders 3 thousand cc, 435 cv) or the Class A 250 with 74 km of autonomy only in electric (ed. here our test on the Gran Sasso). The performance of the large Mild Hybrids is impressive (ed. In the EQ Boost range, with electric motors from 14 to 22 horsepower, from 140 to 250 Nm of torque), which have small electric motors that serve to give more thrust (when more torque is needed) and to reduce emissions. As for the EQ Power we were talking about for the 250 Class, they are the Mercedes plug-in hybrid. And the comparison was also enlightening because cars of similar performance and power (of the same commercial class) with classic internal combustion engine or with internal combustion + electric were tested in parallel.
2500 charging stations have already been installed at home
The cars in the house, therefore, will be increasingly electric or plug-in hybrids, connected, self-driving and shared. And they will soon propose the new EQA (first half 2021) EQS and EQS AMG (summer 2021) EQB and EQE (early 2022). Many are already electric cars that have a petrol engine as an option, they joke in Vallelunga. The choice of ion batteries, then, explains Mercedes-Benz will allow them to be recharged in a very short time in the future (and here it should be emphasized that Mercedes Italia alone has already installed 2500 columns for home charging in the homes of as many customers). What is certain is that electric motors will remain small in Mercedes plug-in hybrids: We do not want to create tanks with giga batteries, but to arrive at a second generation of technologies that allow electric cars to be driven in a completely different way. And to do this, Mercedes-Benz is focusing on digitization: in the area of car software, it announced the debut, in 2024, of the proprietary operating system MB.OS, developed internally in house. The new MB.OS operating software has for us the value that iOs has for Apple. As for powering the engines, Mercedes-Benz currently produces its batteries in 5 large plants, one in the US, 3 in Europe and one in Beijing. Our agreement with the Chinese company Geely was decisive, with which we created the new Smart Eq. We will soon also produce electric motors together, which perhaps will also go to Volvos.
Soon an EQS with 700 kilometers of range
At the moment the new electrified are produced on the same chain, but as the electrification grows in volume, a dedicated platform will be created. We will create an EQS with 700 km range, promises the house. In the meantime, it celebrates the success of the new A Class 250 Eq equipped with the 163 HP 1.3 turbo petrol engine flanked by a 102 HP electric one (with 15.6 kWh batteries): in total, 218 HP of power and a torque of 450 Nm. The off-road test begins in the late morning with three GLE 350 de: the feeling of reliability continues on this gigantic but comfortable SUV; even on the roughest slopes and on the most difficult slopes. Finally, after the track tests, we talk about prices: the comparison on costs between plug-ins (which are the bridge for the transition to electric only in a few years) and traditional motor cars presents considerable advantages for the former. . S because, if it is true that their price list is considerably higher than the “sisters” with only endothermic drive, Mercedes has prepared a series of really advantageous pay to buy offers: they call it hybrid offensive and a really aggressive financing and sales policy. Just to give an example, we tried a CLA 200 d (the most sold among Italians) and a CLA 250 EQ power: the monthly fee of the hybrid – equal to the initial advance – costs 470 euros per month against the 585 of the normal diesel. . Another comparison between the GLE 300 d 4 matic and the GLE 350 de 4 matic: the monthly diesel rent of 1,185 months; the rent of the hybrid 1,035 month (with 10 thousand euros in advance on both). At the end of the 3-year rental, the customer still has the free wallbox and electric scooter. The rest – says Blasetti – are the incentives for scrapping, a higher residual value and much lower maintenance costs.
THE ABBREVIATIONS OF ELECTRIFICATION
EQ BOOST: 48 V mild hybrids The first spark of the electrification of the Star EQ POWER: the Mercedes-Benz plug-in hybrid range; the widest and most advanced offer in the premium segment: up to 100 km in electric, diesel and petrol
SUV EQ POWER: the large Mercedes and AMG off-road vehicles equipped with electric moroti that come to the rescue of the endothermic
ELECTRIC EXPERIENCE: cars with only zero-emission electric powertrain
FAST STEPS TOWARDS THE FUTURE
THE PLUG-IN – The Mercedes electrification project includes as many as 20 plug-in models at the end of 2020
THE OBJECTIVES – The Stuttgart company intends to produce more than 45 electrified models (at least 50% of sales) by 2030
CARBON FREE – Mercedes-Benz will be carbon free (or carbon neutral) in 2039 when it stops producing cars with petrol or diesel engines
December 7, 2020 (change December 7, 2020 | 11:49)
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