Daimler AG is set to become the first major car manufacturer to use lithium-ion battery technology in a mainstream model when series-production of the S 400 BlueHYBRID begins next year thanks to 25 patents held by Daimler.
Dr Thomas Weber, member of the Daimler AG Board of Management and responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development, says: “What we have here is a groundbreaking key technology that is going to be a decisive factor for the future success of the automotive industry. That is a tribute to our intensive research efforts, which we have been conducting in this area since 1992.”
The engineers’ success is above all a result of the Daimler-developed integration of the lithium-ion battery into the vehicle’s climate control system. This ensures that the battery always works at optimal system temperatures of between 15 and 35°C, which in turn makes it possible for the battery to provide long service life and maximum performance.
The main advantages offered by the newly developed lithium-ion battery are its very compact dimensions and its far superior performance compared to conventional nickel-metal hydride batteries. The weight/power ratio of the entire battery is 1,900 watts per litre (W/L). What’s more, the battery stands out by virtue of its high ampere-hour efficiency, long service life, and great reliability, even at very low temperatures. Its high level of safety is the equal of that provided by today’s car batteries.
Daimler believe that lithium-ion batteries are ideally suited for use in hybrid vehicles to help reduce fuel consumption and thus also CO2 emissions. At the same time, the Daimler engineers are investigating to what degree this technology can be applied to other vehicle concepts, such as electric and fuel cell-powered cars.