Mercedes GLC: Plug-in hybrids with 100-kilometre e-range

Mercedes GLC: Plug-in hybrids with 100-kilometre e-range

Mercedes-Benz has unveiled the new generation of its GLC SUV model, using only electrified powertrains, which means at least a 48-volt mild hybrid, plus three plug-in hybrids, each with a battery range of more than 100 kilometres.

At the core of all three plug-in hybrids is the new battery, which according to the announcement is an in-house development by Mercedes-Benz. It comes to a total capacity of 31.2 kWh, the carmaker does not specify the usable capacity. It should not only enable the range of more than 100 kilometers according to WLTP City, but also be able to be charged at just under 2C.

This means that the maximum DC charging power of the GLC PHEV is optionally 60 kW. Even with a completely empty battery, a charging process should be possible in around 30 minutes. On the AC side, depending on the market, an 11 kW charger is on board as standard. Mercedes does not state the charging time in the announcement, but it should be slightly less than three hours with a suitable charging station or wallbox.

Since not only the power density of the battery has been increased, but also DC charging can increase the temperature in the cells, the new battery has its own internal cooling system. This allows the battery management system - unlike its predecessor - to regulate the operating temperature independently of the interior air conditioning. This should improve not only the DC charging curve, but also continuous operation in hot and cold countries.

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The output of the electric motor (a permanently excited internal-rotor synchronous machine) is 100 kW in all variants, and Mercedes states that the maximum torque is 440 Nm. This enables the GLC to drive at up to 140 km/h in pure electric mode. Like the electric motor, the power electronics have been integrated into the transmission housing. This means that the system requires less installation space and also simplifies assembly at the vehicle plant in Bremen and, in future, also in Sindelfingen.

In addition to the increased E-range, a "significantly more electric driving experience" was one of the development goals, and Mercedes claims to have improved the hybrid driving program - the electric driving mode is automatically scheduled for the most sensible sections of the route at any given time.

Also designed to improve the electric driving experience (and also the efficiency of the drive system) is a new, vacuum-independent, electromechanical brake booster, which automatically controls the flexible switch between hydraulic braking and recuperation depending on the driving situation - this is designed to achieve the best energy recovery, according to Mercedes. The system is designed to exploit the maximum recuperation power more frequently, which, like the electric drive power, is 100 kW.