Originally published on Sustainnovate.
The Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive, a new mass market electric vehicle from the well known German brand, reportedly cuts CO2 emissions as much as 64% when compared to the Mercedes-Benz B 180 gasoline car.
The 64% cut is based on the assumption that 100% of the electricity comes from hydropower. But it is more than an operational calculation — its from a full lifecycle analysis.
“Over its entire life cycle, comprising production, use over 160,000 kilometers (99,419 miles) and recycling, the B-Class Electric Drive produces emissions of CO2 that are 24% (7.2 tonnes – EU electricity mix) or 64% (19 tonnes – hydroelectricity) lower than those of the B 180, despite the higher emissions generated during the production process,” Green Car Congress writes.
Of course, this greener performance is not unique to Mercedes-Benz electric vehicles. It is the nature of electric cars. Electric motors are much more efficient than gasoline engines, and they can use clean “fuel” instead of gasoline. Furthermore, their batteries (which is where the electricity to power the motors comes from) can be recharged quite a lot while braking. You cannot recuperate as much electricity while braking as you use while accelerating (thanks to the laws of physics), but you can recuperate quite a lot these days, making electric cars like the B-Class Electric Drive that much cleaner.
Back to the study: “In 160,000 kilometers of driving use, the new B-Class Electric Drive (NEDC combined consumption from 16.6 kWh/100 km) produces 11.9 tonnes of CO2, assuming use of the EU electricity mix. When electricity generated by hydroelectric means is used to power the electric vehicle, the other environmental impacts relating to electricity generation are also almost entirely avoided.
“For CO2 emissions, and likewise for primary energy requirements, the use phase represents a share of 53% and 59% respectively.
“As a comparison, the B 180 (NEDC combined consumption 5.4 l/100 km) emits 23.8 tonnes of CO2 during the use phase.”
Aside from the smooth drive, excellent acceleration (thanks, instant torque!), ability to charge up at home and not have to visit another gas station, there isn’t a whole lot of difference between the B-Class Electric Drive and its gas cousin, the B 180. I have a friend who recently bought the B-Class Electric, which (by the way) uses a Tesla Motors drive train, and he is absolutely loving it!
“The fact that we are able to integrate the electric motor and batteries into a perfectly normal B-Class does not only mean that we can assemble the Electric Drive alongside the other B-Class vehicles on one production line, but almost more importantly means that our customers do not have to make any compromises at all in terms of spaciousness, safety or comfort. The B-Class Electric Drive is an important milestone along our journey towards emission-free driving,” says Professor Dr. Herbert Kohler, Chief Environmental Officer at Daimler AG.
For more details on the Mercedes B-Class Electric, check out my friend’s review and/or the full Green Car Congress article: Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive reduces lifecycle CO2 emissions by as much as 64% compared to B 180 gasoline model.
Image Credit: Kyle Field (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Reprinted with permission.
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