The plug-in hybrid luxury sedan will also get a larger battery.
Can you still call it a plug-in hybrid if you never have to actually plug it in? Starting in 2017, Mercedes-Benz will add a wireless charging function to its S500e plug-in hybrid luxury sedan. The automaker revealed today that the feature is intended to launch when the S500e is refreshed for the 2018 model year.
The Mercedes-Benz S500e wireless charging system consists of a receiving coil in the bottom of the car and a space base plate that can be installed in a garage or a car port. Instructions in the car’s instruments help guide the driver to park the car in the right position over the charging plate. The wireless system can charge at up to 3.6 kW with an efficiency of 90 percent, Mercedes says. The company has been testing the wireless feature on S500e test cars since 2015.
Mercedes also revealed that the facelifted S500e will have an improved driving range. Its lithium-ion battery pack will grow from 8.7 to 13.3 kWh, which the company says should bump all-electric driving range to 31 miles in European testing, up from its current European rating of 20 EV miles.
The Mercedes-Benz S500e, sold in the U.S. only in California as the S550e, combines a 3.0-liter biturbo V6 engine and an electric motor, for total output of 442 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. The EPA estimates it will manage 12 miles of all-electric driving and 58 mpge on a fully charged battery and a full tank of gas.
Mercedes also announced today that from 2018, it will make its plug-in cars compatible with the new Combined Charging System (CCS). Using AC and DC currents, the standard will allow Mercedes cars to charge at up to 150 kW at special fast-charge stations.
Selling more electrified cars is a key goal for Mercedes, said Thomas Weber, head of Group Research & Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.
“We will steadily increase the percentage of electric vehicles in our fleet,” he said today in a statement. “Electric mobility at Daimler will be in the six figures by 2020.”