What's better to do on a free afternoon than (test) driving a new Car?! That's what I did on Tuesday afternoon in Munich, thanks to the local Mercedes-Benz dealer.
In the meantime I have some serious problems to count all the "E-Cars" I've recently drove, but I guess this is now the 5th Alternative Powered Car I'm driving by myself. I do not forget about the numbers because they are unimportant in my eyes, but most of them are "normal Cars" with some serious daily usage abilities. So nothing really different from "outside"!
Now a bit more about my test drive I had with the "Elch-Class" which is completely Electric Powered - the Mercedes-Benz A-Class E-Cell
Until Friday, May 18th everyone who's interested and with a valid driving license can either test drive the smart ED, the A-Class E-Cell or the Vito E-Cell at the Mercedes-Benz dealership in Munich, at the Arnulfstraße 61 (located at the "Donnersbergerbrücke").
More Informations you get HERE.
After 750,000 produced units of the A-Class the sandwich-floor now finally got its actual use, carrying the Batteries for an complete Electric Powered Car. (Yes, this was originally the Intention of the A-Class about 15 Years back!)
To be exactly there are two high-performance lithium-ion batteries, same as the smart ED uses, giving the A-E-Cell a range of up to 200 km (!)
Through the sandwich-floor there were no bigger modifications needed to make the conventionally powered Car to an E.V. (Electric Vehicle).
Since Fall 2010 the E-Cell is built at the Plant in Rastatt, Germany in the existing mass production line of the A-Class. Assembling the Electric Version doesn't need more time.
500 models were in total produced and then leased to selected customers all over Europe. According to Daimler there were 4 Interested per Car.
Some technical data of the A-Class E-Cell:
- more than 200 kilometers NEDC (new European driving cycle)
- Two liquid-cooled lithium.ion batteries with 36 kWh storage capacity
- Power electronics with integrated DC/DC converter for 12-colt supply
- THERMOTRONIC air-conditioning and pre-start climate control via charging plug
- Continous power rating (kW/hp): 50/68
- Peak power (boost) (kW/hp): 70/95
- Maximum speed (km/h): 150
- Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h: 14 s
- Acceleration from 0 to 60 km/h: 5,5 s
- Charging time for a 100 km range: 8 h (230 V); 3h (400 V)
- Range: up to 200 km
- Energy capacity of lithium-ion battery system: 36 kWh
- Payload (including 68kg for a driver and 7 kg luggage): 350 kg
- Luggage compartment volume: 435 - 1.370 l
What makes driving for the driver much more comfortable is the intelligent charging management system based on “SmartCharge Communication”. I noticed it already while driving while switching through the Menu in the Tachometer (the nice battery symbol that shows you how you're current battery charge.
When you now go from the "D"-Drive-Mode to the "P"-Parking-Mode automatically a new symbol appears which would forecast the time when the Car is completely charged, if you plug it on an either 230V or 400V power.
The charging cable is storaged under the trunks floor, so it also does not take any space!
The normal tank cap on the right side is also the junction for the "E-Petrol".
In the end my result of this Test Drive and the A-Class E-Cell is that its really a normal A-Class with all its comfort and luxury aspects.
Navigation system, electric window lifters, bord computer, Parctronic, for sure Airbags and other security facilities are standard and not that much a problem for the batteries range.
According to the "up to 200 km of range" I think these are quite realistic.
I was driving about 20 km and the remaining range went from 164 km to 149 km.
The electrified A-Class is definitely for people living in urban areas, the age doesn't matter, also for families or as a second Car for short- to mid-distance drives.
With the spacious and flexible interior and sufficiently luggage compartment the F-Cell is worth to be owned and driven!