Featuring an 18 kWh lithium-ion battery, the E-CELL PLUS is recharged by a 1.0-liter turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine that produces 50 kW (67 hp).

Mercedes has released new details about their "near-production" BlueZERO E-Cell Plus Concept, which originally debuted at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Featuring an 18 kWh lithium-ion battery, the car is recharged by a 1.0-liter turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine that produces 50 kW (67 hp). This unique combination allows the E-Cell Plus to travel up to 100 km on electricity alone, before the gasoline engine kicks in to extend its range an additional 500 km. 

The battery is connected to a compact electric motor that produces 100 kW and 320 Nm of torque. 0 to 100 km/h comes in less than 11 seconds, while the top speed is electronically limited to 150 km/h (93 mph).

While the range extender is a nice feature, the biggest breakthrough is the car's recharging technology. Using a special 20 kW rapid charger, the E-Cell can be charged enough for a 50 km trip in just 30 minutes. If you have time to spare, the car can be fully charged in about an hour. Unfortunately if you want to use a standard 3.3 kW household outlet, the charging time climbs to approximately 6 hours.

As you may recall, Mercedes also built two other E-Cell concepts: the BlueZERO E-Cell and the BlueZero F-cell. The standard BlueZERO E-cell is powered solely by an electric motor, which enables it to travel up to 200 km. On the other hand, the BlueZero F-Cell features a hydrogen fuel-cell that allows it to travel up to 400 km on electricity alone.

Look for a production version of the Mercedes E-Cell Plus to be unveiled in the coming years.

 

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