Mercedes plug-in hybrids could get “up to 120km electric range”

Future versions of the Mercedes C-Class and E-Class could see almost 75 miles of electric range

Mercedes plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) could improve enough to have pure electric range of “up to 100, or 120km of range” according to Michael Kelz, chief engineer for the new Mercedes EQC.

However, it’s unlikely that we’ll see such long-range PHEVs for five years or more. Speaking at the launch of the EQC, Kelz said that the current rate of battery technology advancement was equating to “around 10km per year, and around 35kWh would likely be the biggest battery you could see [in a plug-in hybrid].”

A range of over 70 miles (113km) and CO2 emissions of less than 50g/km would make a PHEV eligible for the Government’s plug-in car grant of £3,500. However, it’s unlikely this discount will still be offered in the five-year timeframe outlined by Kelz.

With batteries any larger than 35kWh, Kelz speculated that a range-extender - where the combustion engine functions as a generator for the batteries rather than directly driving the wheels - would make more sense.

However, he also clarified that Mercedes has no plans to offer a range extender.

Don’t expect three-cylinder engines in Mercedes PHEVs, either. Kelz stated that “for Mercedes we will stick to four-cylinders in our plug-in hybrids.”

Currently, Mercedes offers four-cylinder diesel and petrol engines in its plug-in hybrid versions of the E-Class and C-Class, which offer pure electric range of up to 34 miles (55km).

Meanwhile, the S-Class limousine features a 3.0-litre, six-cylinder petrol engine.