2009 Detroit Auto Show: Mercedes-Benz Concept BlueZERO

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 27, 2009

Mercedes-Benz has gone radical by using blue instead of the standard green to denote eco-friendliness on their latest ecological models. The 2009 Detroit Auto Show have been graced by the latest of Mercedes' range of trio BlueZERO EV concepts.

Although the concepts come with three varying designations and takes on the EV concept, E-Cell, F-Cell, and E-Cell Plus, they have identical exterior structures and length of 13.85ft. (4.22m).

The E-Cell concept is a pure EV vehicle with a lithium-ion battery pack and electric motors while in the E-Cell Plus, beside the same battery package, a gasoline-powered engine is added to charge the batteries for greater range.The F-Cell employs hydrogen to power its electric motors.

Although the designation BlueZERO indicates zero emissions, only the E-Cell and F-Cell will provide true zero emission while the E-Cell Plus will emit standard exhaust emission once its gasoline engine is in operation which has been measured at 32g/km.

Strictly speaking, though, the other two vehicles will still emit carbon when it uses electricity or hydrogen to propel them. On a one hour charge the E-Cell concept claims a maximum range of 120mi (200km) which doubles with a two-hour charge.

One the other hand the E-Cell Plus can reach 370mi (600km) on full tank and a charge or 60mi (100km) in all-electric mode which is an equivalent of 62mpg NEDC fuel consumption.

The F-Cell concept can reach a maximum of 248mi (400km) from its 120hp (90kW) electric motor with a tankful of hydrogen. To improve aerodynamics enhancements were made to the vehicles including the installation of wheels and tires that reduce air drag and rolling resistance, and a closed front face.

Other features include a merger of cutting edge lens and LED bulb technologies, daytime running lights shaped like a "C" in front and taillights shaped in the form of an "L" at the back.

The wide-ranging use of Lexan had made the rear part of the vehicle virtually see-through. Basically, these three vehicles will receive identical designs, but the 'ALU-BEAM' metallic colors will spell their differences. The E-Cell will get a fresh lime version, the F-Cell a mint green and the E-Cell Plus bright orange.

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