Hybrid drive at Daimler AG

Feb 17, 2005
First motor vehicle propulsion systems with hybrid solutions existed in the history of Daimler AG as long as some 100 years ago. After early attempts at alternative drive systems by Wilhelm Maybach, in 1907 the Austrian affiliate of Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft introduced the Mercedes Mixte with electric motor and internal combustion engine, developed by Ferdinand Porsche. This drive system was successfully used in passenger cars, buses and fire-fighting vehicles – and even in a racing car. In 1969, the OE 302 hybrid bus marked a new beginning of research in this field. Since then, the corporate Research unit has set up more than 20 concept and research vehicles with hybrid drive systems in all vehicle categories, from the smart HyPer via the Mercedes-Benz S-Class BLUETEC HYBRID to the Atego.
The automotive drive system of the future
The company is following a five-stage roadmap on the way to the automotive drive system of the future. Content of this roadmap: the consistent advancement of conventional gasoline and diesel engines through the use of new, environmentally compatible fuels and the development of alternative drive system concepts ready for series production. Hybrid technology plays a central part in this effort. Daimler AG sees hybrid drive technology as a bridge on the road to vehicle propulsion by a zero-emission fuel cell. Today, hybrid drives in concept and research vehicles already achieve fuel savings of between 15 and 25 percent in the NEDC (New European Driving Cycle).
Numerous other alternative drive solutions have been studied over the past years in corporate research labs. Some already have resulted in production vehicles like electric vans or natural-gas-powered cars. For an overview of the history of alternative propulsion systems from Mercedes-Benz please click .
The Mercedes-Benz E-Class Hymatic introduced in 1998 featured two separate drive systems (electric motor and combustion engine). The outputs of the two systems first came together on the road. This principle is called “Through the Road” (TTR) hybrid
The power of two: In the powertrain of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Hymatic, electric motor and gasoline engine operated separately; the combined power of the four-wheel drive system did not take effect before operation on the road
The OE 305 electric hybrid bus was presented in 1978. Its diesel engine drove the electric drive motor via a generator. In terms of performance, this drive system was on a par with that of a diesel-engined O 305 urban bus
Hybrid for difficult driving situations: The four-wheel drive of the TTR in the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Hymatic was a major advantage of the car, especially on ice and snow
Energy storage units: The batteries of hybrid commercial vehicles store energy for noiseless and zero-emission operation using the electric motor
Sporty hybrid car with four-wheel drive option: The 1999 Mercedes-Benz A-Class HyPer accelerated from standstill to 100 km/h in eight seconds
The low-floor O 405 NÜH interurban hybrid bus of 1996 was powered by wheel hub motors. The latter were driven by a diesel engine and generator and recharged by the battery
Compact design: Hybrid technology was easily accommodated in the Mercedes-Benz A-Class HyPer of 1999
On the basis of the LK 1117, a concept truck was developed for testing hybrid drive in commercial vehicles. It was followed in 2000 by the Atego Hybrid test truck
hybrid-17_LK 1117
For the operation of commercial vehicles in sensitive areas: Powered by an electric motor, the Vario Hybrid afforded noiseless and zero-emission operation in pedestrian precincts or in buildings. Out of town, the van study was driven by a diesel engine
Fuel economy, motoring pleasure and comfort combined in a small car: The smart City Coupe HyPer presented in 2001 consumed less than three liters of diesel on 100 kilometers despite its dynamic performance
Innovative drive system: The combination of engine and motor in the hybrid powertrain of the F 500 Mind was known as “P2 configuration”. In this research car, a V8 diesel engine and an electric motor worked together
Electric motor used as a booster: The Mercedes-Benz A-Class HyPer received additional power from the rear-mounted electric motor
The most important development for improving both the fuel economy and the performance of the F 500 Mind research car was hidden underneath the engine hood: The hybrid drive, combining a diesel engine with an electric motor, developed 234 kW and gave the F 500 Mind outstanding performance
It is planned to build the 2004 Sprinter Hybrid as a “plug-in” hybrid, meaning that the van’s batteries can be charged from the mains
At the 2003 Tokyo Motor Show, the presentation of the F 500 Mind research car caused quite a stir. The numerous innovations introduced in this car included the most powerful hybrid drive system working in a research car at the time
The nickel-metal-hydride battery of the S-Class Hybrid has a capacity of 1.9 kWh and is accommodated in the trunk
Noiseless and zero-emission operation of the Sprinter Hybrid using the electric motor exclusively is possible in sensitive areas such as city centers and buildings. Between transmission and clutch, an electric motor, supplied by a nickel-metal-hydride battery, is fitted
The powertrain of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Hybrid has a maximum output of 241 kW – a new peak value for cars with hybrid drive
Energy storage unit in the trunk: The nickel-metal-hydride battery in the rear of the Vision GST 2 supplied the electric motor
Four-wheel drive with continuously variable control in the Unimog E-Drive was made possible by serial hybrid drive. The electric drive motor was driven by the diesel engine via a generator
The S-Class Hybrid is powered by an eight-cylinder CDI diesel engine (191 kW) and two electric motors with a combined output of 50 kW. Thanks to the second electric motor, the diesel engine can be engaged almost unnoticeably on the move
The hallmark of the hybrid drive system of the Vision GST 2 was the intelligent combination of engine and motor during acceleration. When diesel engine and electric motor work together, a computer controls low-consumption and low-emission operation with the aim of achieving maximum efficiency
The Vision GST 2 was a concept study of a Grand Sports Tourer with a future-oriented hybrid drive system consisting of V8 diesel engine and electric motor. With low fuel consumption and optimized emissions, the Vision GST 2 afforded motor pleasure and great dynamism
The special equipment of the Sprinter’s hybrid drive system includes an electric charger, electric heating for the stationary van, an electric water pump and an electric vacuum pump, the power steering pump and the charging cable (from top left to bottom right)
Progressive bus drive: The OE 302 marked a new beginning in hybrid drive research at Daimler-Benz AG in 1969
The OE 302 was the basis for the first duo bus. Its drive system combined energy supply from the overhead wires with a battery