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Range-extender EVs serve as a great solution for those who want all the benefits of a battery-powered vehicle, but remain concerned about range. Having a small engine tacked on as a generator can significantly boost how far the battery can go on a single charge, and Mercedes is among several automakers that have been playing around with the idea. However, sources affiliated with the German automaker now claim that the project has been cancelled.


Autocar spoke with unnamed sources who claim to be familiar with Mercedes development, and while they didn't provide a clear answer for why Mercedes decided to abandon its range-extender EV development, they called it a "transitional technology" that would be phased out once EV technology advances further, which means it just wasn't enough to outweigh the high costs. The sources didn't reveal how much Mercedes had spent on the project, nor did they say how long the company had been working on the technology.


Before the automaker halted development of the project, the sources claim it was testing a modified EQS assisted by a turbocharged 1.0 liter two-cylinder engine to serve as a generator providing extra juice for the battery. The engine came with an exhaust system mounted to the front, and while it mainly provided energy for the battery pack, it also routed some extra power to the rear motor. The sources didn't specify how much range the EQS-based prototype delivered.


"We have created [range-extender] prototypes based on existing models, both for packaging and road testing," the sources said. "In the end, though, we concluded that the range-extender drivetrain is a transitional technology with a relatively short-term benefit in terms of sales and comparatively high production costs."


The sources added that the 1.0 liter two-cylinder engine was essentially a version of the existing Mercedes 2.0 liter turbo that was cut in half. They also mentioned that the battery on this prototype was able to shrink by 50% compared to the pack in the standard EQS, paying dividends in terms of weight.



Image Credits: Mercedes
Report
Apr 26, 2024
 •

Mercedes Sends Range-Extender EV Plans To The Trash Can, Sources Claim

The high costs for the project weren't worth the short-term advantages.

Range-extender EVs serve as a great solution for those who want all the benefits of a battery-powered vehicle, but remain concerned about range. Having a small engine tacked on as a generator can significantly boost how far the battery can go on a single charge, and Mercedes is among several automakers that have been playing around with the idea. However, sources affiliated with the German automaker now claim that the project has been cancelled.


Autocar spoke with unnamed sources who claim to be familiar with Mercedes development, and while they didn't provide a clear answer for why Mercedes decided to abandon its range-extender EV development, they called it a "transitional technology" that would be phased out once EV technology advances further, which means it just wasn't enough to outweigh the high costs. The sources didn't reveal how much Mercedes had spent on the project, nor did they say how long the company had been working on the technology.


Before the automaker halted development of the project, the sources claim it was testing a modified EQS assisted by a turbocharged 1.0 liter two-cylinder engine to serve as a generator providing extra juice for the battery. The engine came with an exhaust system mounted to the front, and while it mainly provided energy for the battery pack, it also routed some extra power to the rear motor. The sources didn't specify how much range the EQS-based prototype delivered.


"We have created [range-extender] prototypes based on existing models, both for packaging and road testing," the sources said. "In the end, though, we concluded that the range-extender drivetrain is a transitional technology with a relatively short-term benefit in terms of sales and comparatively high production costs."


The sources added that the 1.0 liter two-cylinder engine was essentially a version of the existing Mercedes 2.0 liter turbo that was cut in half. They also mentioned that the battery on this prototype was able to shrink by 50% compared to the pack in the standard EQS, paying dividends in terms of weight.



Image Credits: Mercedes

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Mercedes Sends Range-Extender EV Plans To The Trash Can, Sources Claim

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