Mercedes-Benz will be the first auto maker to market a hybrid car that uses lithium ion batteries when it brings a mild hybrid version of the S-Class in 2009.
Today at Frankfurt when Mercedes was showing its F700, S300 Bluetec Hybrid and the ML 450 Hybrid, the luxury auto maker said that it will bring an S400 mild hybrid with an electric motor by 2009. Mercedes says that the S400 hybrid will be able to go from 0 to 60 mph in about 7.3 seconds and will be the most fuel-efficient luxury sedan in the world.
Mercedes said that the batteries will supplied by Johnson Controls-Saft, a joint venture formed last year by the U.S. interior supplier and the French battery maker. Johnson Controls-Saft is finishing construction on its new plant in Nersac, France, that will manufacture lithium ion batteries for its Europe.
“We’re confident in our design and approach to safety management,” said Wright, who oversees the engineers who are designing and developing the batteries. Wright stated that the batteries are designed to last the life of the vehicle.
That puts Mercedes ahead of Toyota who plans to have its next-generation Prius hybrids with lithium-ion batteries on the market by 2010 or 2011.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
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