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Mercedes GLE550 e — Company Unveils First PHEV SUV

Following close on the announcement of its intent to release 10 new plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) models by the year 2017, Mercedes-Benz just unveiled its first production plug-in hybrid electric SUV, the GLE550 e 4MATIC. The fast announcement of the high-performance plug-in model does seem to show that the company is serious about meeting its target.

The GLE550 e possesses a full system output of 449 horsepower (330 kilowatts), an all-electric range of 30 kilometers or 18.6 miles (on the European testing cycle), and a four-cylinder petrol engine with a fuel efficiency of 5.4 l/100 km or 44 mpg (under the European cycle). System output is split between 333 hp (245 kW) provided by the a V6 direct-injection gasoline engine, and 116 hp (85 kW) provided by the electric drive.


Total system peak torque is 650 Newton meters. The model can reach speeds (using only the electric drive) of up to 130 kilometers/hour (81 miles per hour). The model is outfitted with a 8.8 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Total charging time using the provided wall box charger is ~2 hours. Based on the European cycle, the model releases ‘just’ 78 g/km of CO2 emissions. Total power consumption rests around 16.7 kWh/100 km.

The GLE550 e 4MATIC SUV will offer 4 different modes of driving:

  • Hybrid Drive: This mode of the system automatically selects for the most ‘sensible’ operating choices for the circumstances — with regard to the combustion engine and/or electric motor. With the aim being to optimize the overall energy balance, and improve fuel efficiency.
  • E-Mode: this mode is exactly what it sounds like. All-electric driving. Nothing else.
  • E-Save: The E-Save mode allows the driver to withhold use of energy stored in the battery so that it can be used at a later time when more efficacious — such as in urban traffic conditions.
  • Charge: This mode of ‘driving’ is perhaps the most obvious. The battery isn’t being used to power movement and is instead being charged — either while driving and when the SUV is parked and stationary.

A pretty safe model from the sounds of it, no doubt it will sell pretty well. I can’t help but think that the company should offer something with a more substantial battery pack, though. Perhap’s that’s now on the way?

Image Credit: Mercedes-Benz

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Written By

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.


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