Currently reading: Frankfurt motor show: BlueZero E-cell
Mercedes range-extender hybrid for Frankfurt

Mercedes-Benz has taken its first step towards the production of an electric car with the BlueZero E-cell Plus concept.

Riding on a modified version of the existing A-class platform, the third in a series of BlueZero concept cars features a range-extender petrol/electric powertrain like the Vauxhall Ampera’s, and it will go into limited production next year.

See the Mercedes BlueZero E-cell Plus picture gallery here

Using the A-class’s sandwich floor to house an 18kWh lithium ion battery pack, as in the first BlueZero E-cell concept shown in Detroit in January, the Plus adds a 50kW (67bhp) petrol engine.

Taken from the Smart, the three-cylinder unit is also rear-mounted in the E-cell Plus. It is mated to a generator to provide energy for an electric motor, the sole drive for the front wheels.

Producing 70kW (94bhp) and 236lb ft, the electric motor is said to push the E-cell Plus to 62mph in under 11sec and on to a top speed of 93mph.

The 4200mm-long five-door hatch, whose styling provides clues to the appearance of the next B-class (due in 2012), is claimed to have a range on a single charge of 62 miles, which extends to 373 miles on a single tank of fuel when the range extender starts operating. The batteries take less than 30 minutes to recharge.

The Blue Zero will keep Mercedes’ patented flat-floor sandwich body architecture in production, but the next A-class and B-class models will make a dramatic switch to a more conventional and cheaper-to-make platform that eschews a flat floor for conventional footwells.

Greg Kable

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alexthelion 3 September 2009

Re: Mercedes' electric concept car

The car is a show car so it is aloud some extremeties!

The interior is cool though!

Topkat 2 September 2009

Re: Mercedes' electric concept car

The shape makes me think BMW...

AwakeSpectator 2 September 2009

Re: Mercedes' electric concept car

A cute looking front with very 'busy' side panels, as if a lot is going on over there. From the look of things, it seems as if the car had been in a small collision even before it had left the showroom.

Having said that, what needs to be reiterated is that the car has a very nice, rather cute, front.