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Mercedes-Benz combines electricity and hydrogen in EQ Power

Generation EQ, Exterieur, Studio  Generation EQ, exterior, studio

GLC F-CELL goes into preproduction: world’s first electric vehicle with fuel-cell/battery powertrain

At this year’s IAA International Motor Show in Frankfurt, Mercedes-Benz is presenting preproduction models of the new Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL as the next milestone on the road to emission-free driving. Under the technology designation EQ Power, the latest electric model (destined for subsequent series production) is set to combine innovative fuel-cell and battery technology in the form of a plug-in hybrid: in addition to hydrogen, the all-electric variant of the popular SUV will also run on electricity. Intelligent interplay between battery and fuel cell, along with short refueling times, will in future make the GLC F-CELL a vehicle of high everyday practicality and also suitable for long-distance motoring. With 4.4 kg of hydrogen on board, the preproduction model produces enough energy for a range of up to 437* km in the NEDC. F-CELL drivers will also benefit from a range of up to 49 km in the NEDC thanks to the large lithium-ion battery. An output of 147 kW guarantees both dynamic performance and locally zero emissions driving pleasure. In unveiling the preproduction vehicles of the Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL, Daimler is taking another important step as part of its systematic “CASE” strategy.

Ola Källenius, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Group Research & Mercedes-Benz Cars Development, emphasizes: “Our many years of experience with fuel-cell technology pay dividends in the new GLC F-CELL: its long electric range, short refueling times and everyday practicality of an SUV will make it the perfect vehicle. This is made possible by the compact construction of our fuel-cell system. Another genuine world first is the combination with a large additional lithium-ion battery, which can be conveniently charged using plug-in technology.”

Fuel-cell technology is a firm element of Daimler’s powertrain strategy. Under the EQ product brand, the company is pooling its know-how related to intelligent electric mobility while offering a comprehensive e-mobility ecosystem of products, services, technologies and innovations. EQ is therefore a key part of the company’s strategy for the mobility of the future, known at Daimler as “CASE.” The four letters stand for the strategic future pillars of networking (Connected), autonomous driving (Autonomous), flexible use (Shared & Services) and electric drive systems (Electric), which are being systematically further developed and intelligently combined by the company. Between now and 2022, Daimler intends to bring out ten battery-electric vehicles, globally, with the GLC F-CELL representing an important landmark.

Unique: two electric energy sources

The vehicles unveiled at the IAA represent a world first in which a fuel-cell-operated electric car uses a lithium-ion battery as an additional energy source that can be externally charged by means of plug-in technology. Through intelligent interplay, the two energy sources drive the electric motor while offering locally zero emissions driving pleasure. The long range, short refueling time, an output of 197 hp and the latest generation of assistance systems with powertrain-specific features demonstrate, based on the models on show, that the GLC F-CELL will be a family-friendly electric vehicle of high everyday practicality.

For this world first, the Mercedes-Benz engineers cooperated closely with partners from the Daimler competence network to develop a completely new fuel-cell system. Compared with the B-Class F-CELL, which has been on the market since 2010, the overall drive system offers around 40 percent more output. The fuel-cell system is around 30 percent more compact than before, can for the first time be housed entirely in the engine compartment and is installed on the usual mounting points like a conventional engine. Also, the use of platinum in the fuel cell has been reduced by 90 percent. This conserves resources while lowering the system costs – with no compromises in terms of performance.

The lithium-ion battery in the preproduction vehicles on show has a gross capacity of 13.8 kWh and additionally serves as an energy source for the electric motor. For the first time, it can also be charged externally using plug-in technology. An intelligent operating strategy in combination with the fuel-cell/battery system offers maximum efficiency and comfort. Just like the drive motor, the powerful storage battery is space-savingly installed in the rear of the SUV. By means of the 7.2 kW on-board chargers, it can be conveniently charged from a standard household power socket, a wallbox or a public charging station. The charging time is around 1.5 hours if the full capacity is used.

Two carbon-fiber-encased tanks built into the vehicle floor hold around 4.4 kg of hydrogen. Thanks to globally standardized 700 bar tank technology, the supply of Daimler Communications, 70546 Stuttgart, Germany Mercedes-Benz – A Daimler Brand hydrogen can be replenished within just three minutes, which is about the same amount of time it takes to refuel a car with an internal combustion engine.

The F-CELL vehicles on show at the IAA are powered by an asynchronous machine with an output of 197 hp and a torque of 258 lb-ft. As the electric drive requires no propeller shaft, this makes room for one of the two hydrogen tanks, while the second tank is installed under the rear seat bench.

Coordinated: operating strategy with unique variety of combinations

Like the GLC Plug-in Hybrid, the fuel-cell variant comes with various operating modes and drive programs. The drive programs of the GLC F-CELL will include ECO, COMFORT and SPORT. ECO is optimized for low consumption. COMFORT is geared not only for comfort, but also provides ideal climate control. SPORT optimizes the hybrid powertrain for sporty performance.

While the drive programs change the behavior of the car and therefore the driving experience, the operating modes influence the interplay between fuel cell and high-voltage battery. The combination of drive programs with operating modes is presented for the first time in this form in a fuel-cell vehicle.

Freedom of choice: four operating modes HYBRID – F-CELL – BATTERY – CHARGE The innovative plug-in fuel-cell powertrain combines the advantages of both emission-free technologies and, thanks to its intelligent operating strategy, constantly ensures that the use of both energy sources is optimally adapted to the particular operating situation.

In HYBRID operating mode, the vehicle draws power from both energy sources. Power peaks are handled by the battery, while the fuel cell runs in the optimum efficiency range. The intelligent operating strategy means that the characteristics of both energy sources can be ideally exploited. In F-CELL mode, the state of charge of the high-voltage battery is kept constant by the energy from the fuel cell. Driving almost exclusively on hydrogen is the ideal mode if the intention is to keep the electric range in reserve for certain driving situations. Daimler Communications, 70546 Stuttgart, Germany Mercedes-Benz – A Daimler Brand In BATTERY mode, the GLC F-CELL runs all-electrically and is powered by the high-voltage battery. The fuel-cell system is not in operation. This is the ideal mode for short distances.

In CHARGE mode, charging the high-voltage battery has priority, for example in order to recharge the battery for the maximum overall range prior to refueling with hydrogen. This mode also creates power reserves for uphill or very dynamic driving.

In all operating modes, the system features an energy recovery function, which makes it possible to recover energy during braking or coasting and to store it in the battery.

Safety first: getting there safely Daimler applies extremely high safety standards in all its vehicles. This is true of both vehicles with a conventional internal combustion engine and also those with an alternative drive. This means that the vehicles comply with all legal standards and regulations. However, the internal safety requirements for Mercedes-Benz vehicles go one step further. The battery and all hydrogen-containing components are governed by particularly stringent safety standards typical of Mercedes. Alongside safety in the event of a crash, all Mercedes-Benz vehicles undergo additional component tests at system level that go far beyond the usual tests. The powertrain components and hydrogen tanks of the F-CELL preproduction vehicles are space-savingly and safely housed in the engine compartment as well as under the floor.

Like all Mercedes-Benz vehicles, the fuel-cell vehicles, too, are exemplary in terms of active and passive safety. With Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC, Lane Tracking Package with Blind Spot Assist and Active Lane Keeping Assist, Parking Package with 360° camera or COMAND with traffic sign recognition, the GLC F-CELL will come with safety and comfort built in as standard.

Self-assured: with the DNA of a genuine Mercedes The GLC F-CELL models on show at the IAA demonstrate the high expectations on a Mercedes-Benz and all Mercedes-Benz brand values in terms of comfort, sustainability, safety, quality and design. When it comes to loading capacity and occupant comfort, the electric SUV will offer excellent everyday practicality. The only differences will be a minimal step in the luggage compartment, familiar from the GLC Plug-in-Hybrid, and the slightly raised rear seat bench due to the Daimler Communications, 70546 Stuttgart, Germany Mercedes-Benz – A Daimler Brand positioning of the hydrogen tanks. Climate comfort in the GLC F-CELL will also be totally on a par with that in a conventional vehicle. Automatic air conditioning with pre-entry climate control as well as heated seats and mirrors are included as standard. At cooler temperatures, the vehicle will make energy-efficient use of the waste heat from the fuel cell in order to optimize the energy balance of the vehicle.

The series-production vehicle, like the preproduction models, will be equipped with coil springs on the front axle and with single-chamber air suspension with integral automatic level control on the rear axle. This means that, even when the vehicle is carrying a load, there is no change in spring travel on the rear axle, which guarantees balanced vibration characteristics with a virtually constant natural frequency of the body, including when the vehicle is loaded. Unmistakable: Touches in the style of EQ Power The F-CELL models on display at the IAA embody the current Mercedes-Benz design philosophy of Sensual Purity. The design premises include features that emphasize the special status in general and within the GLC family in particular. These design premises are the formal on-road attributes and the technical modifications to the exterior and interior as well as the control and display concept. Blue touches on the radiator grille and light-alloy wheels, side skirts and rear bumper on the one hand, as well as classy style wraps with F-CELL inscription on the other, provide a clearly visible indication of the fuel-cell drive. Specifically styled bumpers, with an enlarged air inlet at the front, as well as aerodynamically optimized 20-inch wheels are the hallmarks of the vehicles on show at the IAA. The interior impresses with its high-grade look & feel and flowing forms as a reinterpretation of contemporary luxury. The center console features elegant trim with flowing lines exuding unique exclusivity in a piano-lacquer look or versatile modern wood surfaces.

Precision-styled details and the choice of authentic materials by using open-pore wood as trim and a high proportion of wool and linen for the fabric covers, make for an agreeable ambience while contributing to the classy overall impression of the interior.

The cockpit will be further enhanced by the instrument cluster in the form of a full display with 12.3-inch diagonal. Information from the COMAND system is presented on the 10.25-inch central display. The menus and indicators on the Daimler Communications, 70546 Stuttgart, Germany Mercedes-Benz – A Daimler Brand displays are geared to the functionality of the combined fuel-cell/battery powertrain. The new-type design style clearly differentiates the fuel-cell vehicle from the conventional GLC. New in the GLC F-CELL is the multifunction touchpad with handwriting recognition, which celebrates its world debut at the IAA in the unveiled preproduction vehicles. This newly developed feature allows telematics functions to be controlled by single- or multi-finger gestures (so-called Multitouch). The touchpad thus offers a full-function and innovative input option over and above LINGUATRONIC in combination with COMAND. The touchpad also makes it possible to enter letters, numbers and special characters by means of handwriting. Further control options are offered by Touch Control buttons on the left and right of the steering wheel as well as by voice control. Timed to perfection: on the road to series production

Daimler is systematically working to prepare for series production of the Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL. With the current test fleet, the Mercedes-Benz engineers are taking the final key steps on the road to production start-up. Market-specific sales concepts, including a rental model, are being evaluated at present. Like the conventionally powered GLC, this family-friendly SUV of high everyday practicality will be produced in Bremen. During development and production of the innovative fuel-cell drive, Daimler is able to call upon its global competence network. The centerpiece of the technology, the fuel-cell stack, was developed in Vancouver, Canada, together with partner Ford in the Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation (AFCC) joint venture. Production takes place directly nearby at Mercedes-Benz Fuel Cell (MBFC). The entire fuel-cell unit and the hydrogen storage system were developed by the Daimler subsidiary NuCellSys in Kirchheim/Nabern in Baden-Württemberg. The Daimler parent plant in Untertürkheim is responsible for fuel-cell system assembly, also in Nabern. The hydrogen tank system, consisting of carbon-fiber-encased tanks, is produced at Daimler’s Mannheim plant, while the lithium-ion battery comes from the wholly owned Daimler subsidiary ACCUMOTIVE in Kamenz, Saxony.

Infrastructure is key A nationwide infrastructure is essential for the success of electric mobility. The spread of both charging stations and hydrogen filling stations is proceeding apace around the world. Whether at home, at work, on the road or when shopping  there are various ways to supply electric vehicles with power. Also when it comes to H2 infrastructure, progress is constantly being made. Together with its partners in the H2 Mobility joint venture, Daimler has already drawn up a concrete action plan. The network of H2 filling stations is scheduled to reach 100 by the end of next year.

By 2023, there will be a network of up to 400 hydrogen filling stations. Similar infrastructure projects are being promoted in Europe, the USA and Japan. Systematic approach: Daimler opts for electric mobility with fuel cell It all began back in the 1980s, when Daimler researchers turned their attention to cold combustion. In 1994, Mercedes-Benz unveiled the first fuel-cell vehicle to the global public – the NECAR 1. Many further vehicles followed, including the A-Class F-CELL fleet. In 2011, special attention focused on the F-CELL World Drive, the first round-the-world journey in fuel-cell vehicles. In 2015, the F 015 Luxury in Motion concept car presented an F-CELL plug-in hybrid drive system, designed for 1,100 kilometers of zero emissions motoring. To date, fuel-cell vehicles from Mercedes-Benz, including the B-Class F-CELL and the Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid urban bus, have together covered over eighteen million kilometers, thereby demonstrating the maturity of the powertrain concept. The next technological advance is now imminent: the GLC F-CELL.

The Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL will celebrate its World Premiere at the 2017 Frankfurt International Auto Show in September, and will go on sale in the U.S. by the end of 2019.

Technical data of preproduction vehicles (IAA) CO2 emissions: 0 g/km
H2 range in Hybrid mode (NEDC): 437* km
Battery-electric range in Battery mode (NEDC) 49 km
Drive system: Electric motor
Battery: Lithium-ion
Fuel cell: PEM (polymer electrolyte fuel cell)
Rated output: 197 hp
Max. torque: 258 lb-ft
Top speed: 99 mph (electronically limited)
H2 tank capacity: 4.4 kg (usable for SAE J2601, 2014 or new)
Battery capacity (gross/net): 13.8 kWh /9.3 kWh

Adient presents the car interior of the future at Frankfurt Motor Show

With the AI18, Adient will present its new interior concept for autonomous driving

adient-preview-iaa-ai18

Scenario 2030: Urban compact vehicles are automatic, electric and adapt to their users

New forms of mobility such as autonomous driving, car sharing and electromobility are dramatically changing how we get around. Adient, the leading supplier of automotive seating, will showcase what this means for interiors, and especially the vehicle seating system, with its new AI18 demonstrator at this year’s International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt am Main.

With the focus on autonomous driving, alternative usage models such as car sharing and urban mobility, the Adient concept addresses three of the major trends which will drive the automotive industry of the future. Richard Chung, Vice President Innovation at Adient, explains: “The optimal vehicle architecture for future urban living spaces provides compact equipment solutions which can adapt to a wide range of users with differing requirements and preferences in almost every situation. This requirement will play a decisive role, especially for vehicle interiors and their seating systems.”

Adient will use five scenarios to demonstrate in the AI18 just how flexible level-3 and level-4 autonomous vehicles could be in the future. “In addition to a Lounge mode, the AI18 seating system offers Communication, Cargo, Baby Plus and Family modes. These provide users with optimum seating arrangements and space according to the situation, as well as various usage options and technical aids that make travel as efficient, comfortable and safe as possible,” says Chung.

For example, in spite of the vehicle’s compact size, Lounge mode offers the user a high degree of comfort and relaxation by means of the seating position and application features. The front seats play their part in this, with an anthropometric pivot at their core. This ensures the seat can be reclined far back and still provide support when beyond the traditional range. Further components such as the head restraint, integrated armrests and a separate leg rest are synchronized to move with the body. An optional massage function further boosts the comfort factor.

With new component geometries, alternative materials and composites, many of the some 20 innovations in the Adient AI18 demonstrator provide additional options for lightweight construction. “Slimmer, lighter seating systems not only play their part in reducing fuel consumption or increasing the range of electric vehicles,” says Chung. “They also allow automakers to make best use of the vehicle’s compact dimensions and therefore also increase efficiency in automotive construction at many levels.”

Adient will present all of the AI18 demonstrator’s usage scenarios as well as the underlying technical innovations to the public at the IAA during a press conference on Wednesday, September 13, from 10:30 to 10:55 a.m. (Stand B24, Hall 5.1).

About Adient:

Adient is a global leader in automotive seating. With 75,000 employees operating 230 manufacturing/assembly plants in 33 countries worldwide, we produce and deliver automotive seating for all vehicle classes and all major OEMs. From complete seating systems to individual components, our expertise spans every step of the automotive seat making process. Our integrated, in-house skills allow us to take our products from research and design all the way to engineering and manufacturing – and into more than 25 million vehicles every year. For more information on Adient, please visit adient.com.

Source: Adient

Intelligent Vehicle Door: Continental Continuing to Develop Digital Vehicle Keys

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  • Vehicle doors can be unlocked digitally in emergencies even when the car’s battery is flat
  • No handle, no key: contactless door opener allows design freedom and improves comfort
  • Continental Smart Access (CoSmA): a complete package providing hands-free and digital vehicle access
  • Virtual, unforgeable key opens vehicle

 

Automated driving and mobility solutions such as car-sharing and fleet services call for innovative vehicle access systems, as conventional vehicle keys will cease to be adequate for the mobility concepts of the future. That is why Continental has expanded its Smart Access solution for convenient vehicle access via smartphone to offer drivers a complete package of services. With the technology company’s new emergency unlocking solution, users can gain access to their vehicle even if the car battery is flat – and can do so completely digitally, without having to resort to the mechanical emergency key. In combination with the Continental Smart Access system, the entire door is intelligent, which means that it opens and closes independently. “The intelligent door is a milestone in access technology, as for the first time, we can offer users an all-round package for hands-free and digital operation, from unlocking the car and opening the door to starting the engine. With it, we are enabling an even more convenient and secure driving experience for drivers and offering more design freedom to manufacturers,” explains Andreas Wolf, head of Continental’s Body & Security business unit.

Access to the vehicle, even when the battery is dead, thanks to a digital key

Until now when a car battery ran out drivers had to fall back on the mechanical emergency key and a manual door lock to get into their vehicles and open the hood. The emergency unlocking technology from Continental will render this unnecessary in the future. It does so by using buffered energy from the door control unit, which is sufficient to allow the door to be unlocked once more.

This automatic emergency unlocking system is activated by means of NFC technology, such as via a smartphone, which transmits the signal following a successful security check and automatically triggers the unlocking process for the door. This means more convenience for users, as they no longer need a mechanical key, even for emergencies. It also opens up more design freedom for carmakers, as they no longer have to develop a conventional key with a blade and can dispense entirely with the emergency lock in the door. In combination with the automatic door opener, even the entire door handle will become obsolete, which offers more options for the exterior design, whilst simultaneously improving the vehicle’s aerodynamic resistance.

Ensuring that not only the emergency lock but also the entire door handle is surplus to requirements, Continental has integrated an assistant function into the intelligent door. “Electronically controlled doors enable convenient, hands-free operation. Our security and control algorithms make sure that you can open and close the vehicle door securely and easily,” explains Wolf.

How Smart Access and the virtual key work

Smart Access enables convenient vehicle access via a smartphone. The system centers on the virtual key, which is saved to a mobile end device. This key, which consists of a tamper-proof data record, gains access only after successful one-time authentication by the back end, which sends it to the smartphone via a wireless interface. Further communication takes place exclusively between the smartphone and the vehicle.

For this purpose, the system uses multiple Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) or NFC transceiver modules, located in the vehicle, to enable the authorized smartphone to be located both from inside and from outside. As soon as an authorized virtual key is detected, the system issues permission to open the vehicle and start the engine. Therefore, there is no longer any need for a mechanical key.

Continental will present the intelligent door at the International Motor Show Germany (IAA) in Frankfurt am Main (Hall 5.1, Stand A07/A08) in September.

Source: Continental