The Mercedes-Benz S Class Plug-In Hybrid Saloon: The Complete Guide For India

Mercedes-Benz S Class Plug-In Hybrid
Price: N/A
Type of electric vehicle: Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
Body type: Saloon
Battery size: 28.6 kWh
Electric range (WLTP): 62 - 63 miles
Tailpipe emissions: 19g (CO2/km)


Electric Cars: The Basics


For those of you new to zero-emission electric driving, we recommend a read of the following articles:


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The Mercedes-Benz S Class Saloon Long PHEV


Mercedes-Benz, simply known as Mercedes, is a leading global luxury automative manufacturer based in Germany. The company is headquartered in Stuttgart and is famed for its high quality passenger vehicles, to include the Mercedes-Maybach. However, the company is also a leader in manufacturing commercial vehicles, to include the plug-in Mercedes eSprinter commercial EV and the plug-in Mercedes eVito electric van.

Mercedes-Benz EQ is the sub-brand used by the company for its portfolio of battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and mild hybrids. The pure electric cars are branded as EQ, while the PHEVs are branded as EQ Power. The mild hybrid vehicles are branded as EQ Boost. The PHEV portfolio includes:

The Mercedes-Benz full-size luxury S Class saloon was introduced in 1972 and is at the top end of luxury saloons in the global market. The executive saloon has sold well since its introduction and is considered a flagship vehicle for the German automotive manufacturer. The premium saloon is currently in its seventh generation. The S Class includes a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) variant, the S 580 e L AMG Line.

The Mercedes-Benz PHEV has a 28.6 kWh onboard EV battery, with a WLTP certified zero-emission electric range up to 63 miles. Both, the EV battery size and electric range are above average, when compared to other PHEVs. In general, PHEVs have an e-range between 25 miles to 30 miles. Of course, the real-world EV range will be lower, impacted by a number of factors, to include: driving style, weather, road conditions, passenger load, services used in the EV and more. Expect a real-world electric range closer to 55 miles.

Nevertheless, the EV offers much scope for lowering the cost of motoring for city and motorway driving. Electric driving is far cheaper than using the internal combustion engine (ICE).

Moreover, using the electric mode, also improves the overall efficiency of the vehicle. Mercedes claims a fuel economy up to 353.2 mpg for the PHEV. Of course, the real-world fuel economy will be lower, but far improved compared to the fuel economy of the conventional petrol variant (51.4 mpg).

The PHEV is capable of DC charging up to 60 kW (10% – 80%: 20 mins). Not all plug-in electric cars are capable of DC fast charging. But given the price tag of the EV, DC charging compatibility is a must! Though the EV has an 11 kW onboard charger (10% – 100%: 2 hrs 15 mins), the majority of homes in India will not be able to take advantage of the faster 3-phase AC charging, given that most residential premises have a single-phase power supply. A single-phase domestic EV charger like easee, will charge the EV in under 4 hours.

As one would expect for the S Class, the interior is luxurious and technology-laden. The EV also has a number of safety features to include: active blind spot assist, active distance assist DISTRONIC, active emergency stop assist, active lane change assist etc. The interior of the PHEV is just as well specified, to include: climatised rear seats, active multicontour front seats with inflatable air chambers and massage function, MBUX augmented reality head-up display and leather upholstery.

The electric vehicle (EV) pairs 3.0-litre (6 cylinder) petrol engine with an electric motor (110 kW). The rear-wheel drive EV can achieve 0-62 mph in 5.2 seconds and has a 155 mph top speed (in electric mode, the top speed is 87 mph).

For those seeking luxury with lower tailpipe emissions (19g CO2/km), the S Class PHEV is well suited. Do keep in mind that driving the PHEV on the electric mode will result in zero-tailpipe emissions. Bottom-line, electric driving is good for the environment and the wallet! The Mercedes-Benz electric car is not available in India.


PROS CONS
A good executive saloon, high quality interiors and high specificationsOne of the more expensive PHEVs
Good EV battery size and electric range (up to 63 miles)Only available as a rear-wheel drive
Good fuel efficiency for its class and low tailpipe emissionsSome may find the exterior styling outdated

Gallery


The Mercedes-Benz S Class Saloon PHEV (credit: Mercedes)


One of the key advantages of driving an electric vehicle (EV), is that, it is cheaper to drive, compared to conventional internal combustion engine (ICE), petrol and diesel vehicles. For many years, we have witnessed a significant increase in prices at petrol pumps across India. However, this is not an ‘India’ only trend, but a global trend. We can continue to expect an inflation in global petrol and diesel prices for the foreseeable future.

Both, a pure electric car and a plug-in hybrid electric car, offer significant savings on driving costs per mile, when driven on zero-tailpipe emission electric mode. In India, filling a petrol or diesel car can cost anything between Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000. As an example, the very popular Audi Q7 diesel SUV has a fuel capacity of 85 litres. Assuming an average cost per litre of Rs 90, the cost of filling a full tank will be up to Rs 7,650!

In comparison, the all-electric Audi e-tron SUV , which is now available in India, and a similar size to the Audi Q7, can be fully recharged for less than Rs 1,000. Put another way, charging the Audi electric SUV, can save up to 85% compared to filling a full tank of fuel (in India, the average cost for residential electricity is between Rs 5 to Rs 10 per kWh).

At an average one can expect a cost per km of Rs 1 for a zero-emission EV, while for an equivalent petrol or diesel vehicle, the cost per km could be up to Rs 7 per km. The annual cost savings achieved by switching to electric driving is significant! The sooner you switch to green cars, the sooner you can start saving money. That is simply the bottom-line!


At A Glance
EV Type:Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
Body Type:Saloon
Engine:Petrol-Electric
Available In India:No

Variants (4 Options)
S580 e Long AMG Line Premium
S580 e Long AMG Line Premium Executive
S580 e Long AMG Line Premium Plus
S580 e Long AMG Line Premium Plus Executive

EV Battery & Emissions
EV Battery Type:Lithium-ion
EV Battery Capacity:Available in one battery size: 28.6 kWh
Charging:DC charging up to 60 kW (10% – 80%: 20 mins). On-board charger 11 kW AC
Charge Port:Type 2
EV Cable Type:Type 2
Tailpipe Emissions:19g (CO2/km)
Warranty:6 years or 62,000 miles

Charging Times (Overview)
Slow charging AC (3 kW – 3.6 kW):6 – 12 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SOC)
Fast charging AC (7 kW – 22 kW):3 – 8 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Rapid charging AC (43 kW):0-80%: 20 mins to 60 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Rapid charging DC (50 kW+):0-80%: 20 mins to 60 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Ultra rapid charging DC (150 kW+):0-80% : 20 mins to 40 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Tesla Supercharger (120 kW – 250 kW):0-80%: up to 25 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)

Dimensions
Height (mm):1503
Width (mm):2109
Length (mm):5289
Wheelbase (mm):3106
Turning Circle (m):12.5
Boot capacity (L):350

S 580 e L
EV Battery Capacity:28.6 kWh
Pure Electric Range (WLTP):62 – 63 miles
Electric Energy Consumption (kWh/100km):19.9 – 19.7
Fuel Consumption (MPG):353.2 mpg
Charging:DC charging up to 60 kW (10% – 80%: 20 mins). On-board charger 11 kW AC
Top Speed:155 mph (electric: 87 mph)
0-62 mph:5.2 seconds
Drive:Rear-wheel drive (RWD)
Electric Motor (kW):110 kW
Max Power (hp):367 (combustion engine)/ 150 (electric motor)
Torque (Nm):500 (combustion engine)/ 480 (electric motor)
Transmission:Automatic
Seats:5
Doors:4
Kerb Weight (kg):2,385
Colours:10
NCAP Safety Rating:N/A

History Of Electric Cars: Quick Facts


  • An electric vehicle (EV), also referred to as a battery-electric vehicle (BEV) is not a new invention or even an invention of modern times. Indeed, EVs were first developed more than a 100 years ago in the 19th century. Put another way, Mahatma Gandhi was yet to be born, when inventors from various countries, to include European countries and the United States were already investing electric motors and batteries.  
  • The first practical electric cars were built in the second half of the nineteenth century, with the first US electric car introduced in 1890. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi had just turned 21! 
  • Electric vehicles came into prominence in the early 1900’s, a time when horse-drawn carriages were the primary mode of transportation. Archived black and white photographs from that period show famous avenues like Madison Avenue in New York city filled with horse-drawn carriages. In stark contrast, a similar photograph taken a decade later of Madison Avenue showed not a single horse-drawn carriage. Instead the avenue  was filled with motor vehicles, a new invention. It was the beginning of man’s love affair with cars that has lasted more than a century and still going strong. 
  • However, the uptake of electric vehicles in the early 20th century was short-lived, as gasoline powered vehicles propelled by internal combustion engines (ICE) become the preferred mode of transportation.  
  • Bottom-line, manufactures chose internal combustion engines over electric cars in the early 1900s for various reasons, to include, the costs and production volumes.  
  • It is not definitive as to where EVs were invented or to credit a single inventor. However, one known electric motor (small-scale) was created in 1828 by Anyos Jedlik, a Hungarian inventor, engineer, physicist and Benedictine priest. Hungarians and Slovaks still consider him to be the unsung hero of the electric motor.  
  • Shortly after, between 1832 and 1839, a Scottish inventor Robert Anderson created a large electric motor to drive a carriage, powered by non-rechargeable primary power cells. Through the 19th century a number of inventors were inspired to develop electric motors to include, Thomas Davenport, an American from Vermont credited with building the first DC electric motor in America (1834). Unlike many of his contemporaries and other trying to build electric motors, Davenport did not have a background in either engineering or physics.  In fact, he was a blacksmith. 
  • Move forward a few decades and at the end of the 19th century, William Morrison created what is believed to be the first practical electric vehicle. Morrison, another American from Des Moines, Iowa, was a chemist who became interested in electricity. He build the first electric vehicle in 1887 in a carriage built by the Des Moines Buggy Co.  His first attempt was not a great success. In 1890, he attempted again, with more success. 12 EVs were built using a carriage built by the Shaver Carriage Company.
  • The batteries were designed and developed by William Morrison. The vehicle had 24 batteries with an output of 112 amperes at 58 volts that took 10 hours to recharge. Available horsepower just under 4 horsepower. The vehicle could accommodate 6 individuals and had a top speed of 14 mph (22.50 km/h).
  • Morrison’s success led to others also developing large-scale practical electric cars.  At the turn of the century cities like New York had 60 electric taxis. The first decade witnessed strong popularity for electric vehicles. However the popularity was short-lived as internal combustion engine (ICE) gasoline powered vehicles replaced the early electric vehicles. Henry Ford’s success with the then ubiquitous Ford Model T was the ‘beginning of the end’ for electric vehicles. The Model T was cheaper than the prevailing electric cars (US$ 650 Vs US$ 1,750) and could be manufactured at scale. As they say — the rest is history.  



Author

Ashvin Suri

Ashvin has been involved with the renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors since 2006. He is passionate about the transition to a low-carbon economy and electric transportation. Ashvin commenced his career in 1994, working with US investment banks in New York. Post his MBA from the London Business School (1996-1998), he continued to work in investment banking at Flemings (London) and JPMorgan (London). His roles included corporate finance advisory, M&A and capital raising. He has been involved across diverse industry sectors, to include engineering, aerospace, oil & gas, airports and automotive across Asia and Europe. In 2010, he co-founded a solar development platform, for large scale ground and roof solar projects to include the UK, Italy, Germany and France. He has also advised on various renewable energy (wind and solar) utility scale projects working with global institutional investors and independent power producers (IPP’s) in the renewable energy sector. He has also advised in key international markets like India, to include advising the TVS Group, a multi-billion dollar industrial and automotive group in India. Ashvin has also advised Indian Energy, an IPP backed by Guggenheim (a US$ 165 billion fund). He has also advised AMIH, a US$ 2 billion, Singapore based group. Ashvin has also worked in the real estate and infrastructure sector, to including working with the Matrix Group (a US$ 4 billion property group in the UK) to launch one of the first few institutional real estate funds for the Indian real estate market. The fund was successfully launched with significant institutional support from the UK/ European markets. He has also advised on water infrastructure, to include advising a Swedish clean technology company in the water sector. He is also a member of the Forbury Investment Network advisory committee. He has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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