Independent, Expert EV Reviews & Advice Since 2006

Mercedes-Benz Concept BlueZERO

This strange
looking vehicle is the Mercedes-Benz Concept BlueZERO E-CELL PLUS, a
battery-powered electric car with a range extender.

On electric
power alone the car can manage 62 miles, but with the three-cylinder,
turbocharged petrol engine range extender, this gives the BlueZERO E-CELL PLUS
a total range of up to 370 miles.

The BlueZERO
E-CELL PLUS is part of a family of modularly constructed electric cars and
Mercedes claims its emissions are just 32g/km CO2.

The engine is
installed in the area of the rear axle and can charge the battery while the car
is being driven. During rapid charging the lithium-ion battery of the BlueZERO
E-CELL PLUS can store enough power within around 30 minutes for a 30 mile
cruising range. The full electric range of 100 km requires a charging time of
more than an hour. Charging time is doubled with a standard charge cycle at a
conventional household outlet. Special on-board electronics support the
intelligent charging stations and billing systems used by electric fuelling

Mercedes says
that the advantages of lithium-ion batteries compared to other battery
technologies include their compact dimensions, high output and energy density,
high charge efficiency and long service life.

The company
also says that the modular concept of the BlueZERO allows a single vehicle
architecture to be used to create three models with different drive system

The BlueZERO
E-CELL PLUS is equipped with an electric drive and a supplemental combustion
engine with an electrical generator (range extender). The car has a total range
of up to 370 miles, of which up to 62 miles can be covered solely by electric

presented in Detroit at the beginning of the year, the BlueZERO E‑CELL is
propelled exclusively by a battery-powered electric drive that allows the car
to travel up to 125 miles on a single battery charge and completely free of
local emissions.

The third
drive version is the fuel cell powered BlueZERO F-CELL, with a range of about
250 miles on electric power and therefore also without any local emissions.

All three
BlueZERO models feature front-wheel drive. The cars can accelerate from 0 to 62
mph in less than eleven seconds and to ensure optimum range and energy
efficiency, the top speed is electronically limited to 90 mph.

The three
BlueZERO variants were developed on the basis of the sandwich-floor
architecture from the A-Class and B-Class. The advantage of this design is that
the key drive components are installed in the vehicle’s underbody in such a way
that they take up little space, ensure a good centre of gravity, and are

During 2009,
Mercedes will manufacture the first batch of Mercedes fuel cell cars. In 2010,
they will be followed by a small run of vehicles that run solely on electric
power supplied by a battery.