Mercedes Lithium Ion Hybrid in 2009

Mercedes-Benz will launch an S-Class hybrid equipped with a lithium-ion battery next year. Dr. Thomas Weber, who is responsible for research at Mercedes-Benz—and a long-time hybrid naysayer—said, “What we have here is a groundbreaking key technology that is going to be a decisive factor for the future success of the automotive industry.”

The use of lithium ion batteries—which can be smaller, lighter, store more energy, and deliver more power—is considered the holy grail of on-board energy storage for vehicles.

Mercedes-Benz plans to use the lithium ion batteries in the S 400 BlueHYBRID, which is powered by a 299 horsepower engine, that could offer fuel economy of 30 miles to the gallon. Daimler said this would make it “the world’s most economical luxury sedan, unrivaled by any gasoline, diesel, or hybrid drive system offered by any competitor.” Company statements did not specify if the S-Class hybrid would be introduced in Europe or the United States.

Mercedes is also promising a diesel version of the same hybrid vehicle by 2010.

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  • reviewz

    Great, except 30 mpg is not that much. I wish they’d apply this same concept to cars with better fuel efficiency, that would really make a difference.

  • sean

    Merc has been well known for their innovations. If the “groundbreaking key technology” is shared to other car/battery manufacturers, it’d be a great benefit for consumers and the environment. Hope that they’ve thoroughly tested it.

  • lenette

    i agree – 30mpg is nothing to crow about. my ’95 infiniti got 30-33mpg 13 years ago.

  • vinayababu

    Great, any news from Merc on finding a reliable lithium iron battery need to be relied on. Hope others will be able to access the breakthrough technology particularly the diesel hybrid configuration.

  • qqRockyBeans

    30 mpg IS good, especially for the S-Class
    This car is HUGE

    No it isn’t a Geo Metro or even a Prius, but 30 mpg isn’t bad
    a regular S-Class gets about 12 mpg

    it’s better mileage than the Lexus 600H hybrid

  • GR

    Definitely a step in the right direction. Good job Mercedes.

  • MBionic

    The hybrids are on! The Mercedes Lithium Ion Hybrid is another significant addition to the industry’s growing lineup of green vehicles. Nice job for Mercedes. Oh wait, does anyone heard about a Cadillac hybrid? It’ll be great if the Caddy would soon come up with their own hybrid sedan. I guess they have one model, but i forgot what type it is. Can you imagine a great looking Caddy with a spanking Cadillac headlights matched with lithium ion powertrain? Now that’s nice too. Anyway, the S-Class hybrid from MB is the hottest thing to look forward to in 2009.

  • AychTwoOh

    You think it will cost less than $100K?

    Not so much…

  • simon@aus

    actually hybrid diesel makes the more sense when the vehicle is bigger. The proportion of the total weight and total cost of the car which is caused by the hybrid drivetrain are then comparitively small. So really hybrid trucks and of course trains are perhaps where hybrid technology has the most potential.

  • ggep

    Wake up people! Mercedes has missed it again! Who needs 300HP? 30 MPH?? Not enough!! Apply this technology to the C or E classes. $100K minimum, or else it will be missing the drive train and wheels. Where has Mercedes been for the last 10 years while Lexus and Toyota has been perfecting the hybrid? Is anyone asking if the car will have two separate trannies like Lexus, or are they going to choke off the valves like Honda. Believe me it makes a big difference on how they create the hybrid system. Mercedes acts like lithium ion batteries is their idea. Not!!!! Merc stole this technology development from the true hybrid pioneers right in the good old USA. Besides Toyota announced two years ago their hybrids will have lithium ion batteries in 2009. One last question: who wants to be the first Ginny pig to pay $150K plus to own an experimental car? Not me! I’ll stay with my know commodity luxury hybrid, a Lexus.

  • ed

    yeah ggep, but that’s a lexus… it’s just not in the same class as a benz… if you’re in the top price range, it has to be benz, if you’re in the near-top, it has to be bimmer, if it’s above average, acura, then average car, the winner is toyota for sure, and if you want a low end car, the king of the hill is probably hyundai. Lexus doesn’t fit in anywhere… It’s a benz wannabe, or a pretentious toyota, take your pick, but it’s not a benz

  • bigbrian1980

    Probably this car will reach upto $100K+. yeah hybrid are too expensive. lol… Also its a Mercedes. Just look at some news at The Honda Civic Life blog and hybrid reaches there at $90K and its Honda.

  • B

    This is true i got the regular c class which is tiny and it only get 26-29 on its best days

  • Tom25

    trust me dude this is a good thing making luxury top of the line sedans hybrid means that big money will go into the research and production of this car along with research on li ion batteries etc. And hopefully in a couple of years some of the knowledge gained from this research will filter down into their other cars. Toyota did the same with 600h. They re testing the waters dude. Remember when laptops cost like $2000?