D But that’s about time: 13 years After the debut of the A-Class, the double floor of the tall body was used for the first time as the A-Class designers had imagined in the mid-1990s - as a storage compartment for voluminous battery packs in the Mercedes A-Class E-Cell .
500 Mercedes A-Class E-Cell in small series
So far this has only happened sporadically with prototypes, now the A-Class plant in Rastatt is producing an E-Cell Small series, whose A by the end of 2011, a total of 500 units is to be reached. The Mercedes A-Class E-Cell are rented to fleet operators and private individuals for 1,071 euros per month including full service with the aim of gaining further knowledge about the use of e-cars and the general conditions of the new type of e-mobility.
The heart of the compact E-Cell variant are two lithium-ion battery packs provided by the American electric car company Tesla Motors. Mercedes holds a ten percent stake in him. The batteries are a double pack of the battery that also powers the electrified Smart Fortwo. In the Mercedes A-Class E-Cell, the energy storage units together offer a capacity of 36 kilowatt hours, which, including energy recovery through recuperation, should guarantee a range of 225 kilometers. A respectable value that covers the usual mobility needs of a second car driver in urban use.
Mercedes A-Class E-Cell with a powerful start
E-Cell driving is easy: After turning the ignition key, the electric motor installed in the bow starts to work almost imperceptibly. Push the selector lever on the center console to position D and use it to engage the only forward gear. Step on the accelerator and the Mercedes A-Class E-Cell immediately starts moving almost silently.
With a powerful acceleration, it reacts spontaneously to movements of the accelerator pedal because, unlike an internal combustion engine, your machine - unlike a combustion engine - starts with the first revolution provides the full torque of 290 Newton meters. The continuous output of the Mercedes A-Class E-Cell is 68 hp, the motor activates the overboost function for a short time by kickdown and thus 95 hp. That is always enough for appealing performance in the lower speed range, as the factory specifications for acceleration from zero to 60 km /h in 5.5 and to 100 km /h in 14 seconds show. TheThe top speed of the Mercedes A-Class E-Cell is electronically limited to 150 km /h.
After a few kilometers of driving the Mercedes A-Class E-Cell, you learn the linear power development of the E- Appreciating motors, as well as a gently acting accelerator, they support a relaxed, confident gait. And it goes perfectly with use in urban areas and the low noise level of the drive technology. Because apart from the soft whirring and the occasional subtle howling of the generator at low speed, there is no acoustic feedback. Once the maximum speed allowed in the city has been reached, the Mercedes A-Class E-Cell is solely driven by rolling and driving noises.
Charging time between three and eight hours
Despite that compared to the 82 PS strong A 160 CDI around 300 kilograms higher curb weight, the Mercedes A-Class E-Cell is by no means sluggish. It quickly follows the commands of its more directly geared steering and is surprisingly agile - thanks to its lower center of gravity. It owes this, as well as its extra weight, to the heavy batteries in the double floor of the car and the complex liquid cooling of the power storage and electric motor.
The batteries are charged either at the home socket or at special charging stations. In order to refuel with energy for a range of 100 kilometers, the Mercedes A-Class E-Cell has to be connected to the 230-volt socket for eight hours or to the high-voltage network for three hours. At the same time, the car can also be preconditioned so that it does not have to use any energy when it is later driven. The status of the charging process can also be monitored via the Internet or smartphone if necessary.
E-car without everyday restrictions
A multifunctional display in the Mercedes A-Class E-Cell provides information during the journey Instrument panel showing the battery charge level, kilometers driven, remaining range and remaining energy. The currently available drive power and the currently accessed or recuperation power are also displayed in the large pointer instrument.
A particular advantage compared to other subsequently electrified cars is the unrestricted utility of the Mercedes A-Class E-Cell. So one more thing: To the double bottom, which all conventionally powered versions have been lugging around uselessly for 13 years.