The Mercedes-Benz C Class Plug-In Hybrid Estate: The Complete Guide For The UK

Mercedes-Benz C Class Plug-In Hybrid Estate
Price: £53,160
Type of electric vehicle: Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
Body type: Estate
Battery size: 25.4 kWh
Electric range (WLTP): 65 miles
Tailpipe emissions: 13g (CO2/km)

Overview


Mercedes-Benz, simply known as Mercedes, is a leading global luxury automative manufacturer based in Germany. The company is headquartered in Stuttgart and is famed for its high quality passenger vehicles, to include the Mercedes-Maybach. However, the company is also a leader in manufacturing commercial vehicles, to include the plug-in Mercedes eSprinter commercial EV and the plug-in Mercedes eVito electric van.

Mercedes-Benz EQ is the sub-brand used by the company for its portfolio of battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and mild hybrids. The pure electric cars are branded as EQ, while the PHEVs are branded as EQ Power. The mild hybrid vehicles are branded as EQ Boost. The PHEV portfolio includes:



Electric Cars: The Basics


For those of you new to zero-emission electric driving, we recommend a read of the following articles:


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The Mercedes-Benz C Class Estate PHEV


The Mercedes-Benz C Class is currently in its fifth generation. It was first introduced in 1993. The Mercedes C Class is also available as a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV).

Despite the introduction of a number of family PHEVs in the recent past, the number of estate plug-in electric cars on sale is still limited. Therefore, for families and company-car drivers seeking practicality, lower motoring costs and improved environmental credentials, the C Class Estate PHEV is worth consideration.

The latest C Class plug-in electric estate car has much to offer those keen on migrating to lower mission electric driving, but keen on a PHEV as a first step. The C Class PHEV has a 25.4 kWh onboard EV battery, with a claimed zero-tailpipe emission range up to 65 miles (WLTP certified). This is certainly impressive and above average compared to the pure electric range on offer from an average PHEV.

Of course, the real-world electric range will depend on a number of factors, to include: driving profile, speed, passenger load, weather and road condition etc. Assuming a 60 mile electric range is more realistic and establishes the C Class PHEV as class-leading. The plug-in hybrid can be leveraged for both city and motorway driving. There is significant scope to take advantage of pure electric driving with this PHEV. The EV also benefits from regenerative braking to increase the zero-emission e-range.

Do keep in mind that driving the PHEV on the electric mode will result in lower tailpipe emissions and cost savings. Depending on where and when the EV is charged, the cost per mile on electric mode is between 5 pence and 10 pence i.e. far cheaper than using the internal combustion engine (ICE).

Also impressive is the reduced tailpipe emissions of the C Class plug-in hybrid (13g CO2/km). Company-car drivers can take advantage of the lower Benefit-in-Kind (BiK-8%) tax rate, given the lower tailpipe emissions. And everyone benefits from reduced local air pollution. Of course, when the PHEV is driven on the pure electric mode, the tailpipe emissions are zero!

Mercedes claims a fuel economy up to a whopping 403.6 mpg. Like real-world electric range, the real-world fuel economy will be impacted by a number of factors. Nevertheless, the EV offers class-leading efficiency. The key is to use the e-mode on a regular basis. The more the usage, the better!

The EV has a 11 kW (3 phase) onboard charger. As most homes in the UK are limited to single-phase power supply, taking advantage of the 3-phase onboard charger will be a challenge for home charging. Having said that, charging the electric car via a dedicated residential EV charger, should have the EV fully charged in 3 hours 30 minutes. Of course, there is an opportunity to take advantage of 3-phase workplace charging. The EV does not offer DC charging for the UK model. It does so for the European markets. This is indeed disappointing, given the price tag of the premium PHEV!

The rear-wheel drive Mercedes C Class plug-in hybrid pairs a 2.0-litre (4 cylinder) combustion petrol engine with an electric motor (95 kW). The 9-speed automatic transmission C300e PHEV delivers a combined system output up to 313 hp (550 Nm torque). The EV can achieve 0-62 mph in 6.2 seconds. The petrol plug-in hybrid has a top speed up to 149 mph.

As can be expected from Mercedes, the C 300e PHEV has a luxurious interior and technology-laden, to include: Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) – controlled via voice or touch input, the innovative infotainment system can over time even predict personal habits thanks to artificial intelligence. Other standard specifications include, active brake assist, blind spot assist, wireless charging, ambient lighting (staged – 64 colours), KEYLESS-GO starting function and high-resolution multimedia colour display. The PHEV is spacious and practical for families and can comfortably seat adults in the rear seats (ample legroom and headroom). The boot size is 360 L.

Bottom-line, the Mercedes C Class estate PHEV offers a compelling proposition for families and companies keen to migrate to electric driving!


PROS CONS
Impressive pure electric range DC charging not available for UK models
Low tailpipe emissions Boot space impacted by EV battery
Good fuel efficiency for its classExterior styling traditional for some

Gallery


The Mercedes-Benz C Class Estate PHEV (credit: Mercedes)


At A Glance
EV Type:Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
Vehicle Type:Estate
Plug-In Car Grant (PiCG):Not Available
Engine:Petrol-Electric
Available In UK:Yes

Variants (1 Option)
C 300 e AMG Line Premium Plus Estate (from £53,160)

EV Battery & Emissions
EV Battery Type:Lithium-ion
EV Battery Capacity:Available in one battery size: 25.4 kWh
Charging:DC charging not available. Onboard charger 11 kW AC (10%-100%: 2 hrs)
Charge Port:Type 2
EV Cable Type: Type 2
Tailpipe Emissions:13g (CO2/km)
Warranty:6 years or 62,000 miles

Average Cost Of Residential Charging
Battery net capacity : 8.8 kWh £1.27
Battery net capacity : 11.6 kWh£1.67
Battery net capacity : 12.0 kWh£1.73
Battery net capacity : 13.10 kWh£1.89
Battery net capacity : 14.10 kWh£2.03
  • Note 1: The average cost of residential electricity in the UK varies depending on the region, supplier and type of energy used. An average for the UK is 14.40 p/kWh.
  • Note 2: Not all EV manufactures make available the data on net EV battery capacity, and in a number of instances the EV battery capacity advertised, does not state if it is gross or net capacity. In general, usable EV battery capacity is between 85% to 95% of the gross available capacity.

Charging Times (Overview)
Slow charging AC (3 kW – 3.6 kW):6 – 12 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SOC)
Fast charging AC (7 kW – 22 kW):3 – 8 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Rapid charging AC (43 kW):0-80%: 20 mins to 60 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)

Dimensions
Height (mm):1494
Width (mm):2033
Length (mm):4755
Wheelbase (mm):2865
Turning Circle (m):11.07
Boot Capacity (L):360

C 300e
EV Battery Capacity:25.4 kWh
Pure Electric Range (WLTP):65 miles
Electric Energy Consumption (kWh/100km):18.6
Fuel Consumption (MPG):403.6
Charging: DC charging not available. Onboard charger 11 kW AC (10%-100%: 2 hrs)
Top Speed:149 mph
0-62 mph:6.2 seconds
Drive: Rear-wheel drive (RWD)
Electric Motor (kW):95 kW
Max Power (hp):313 (system output)
Torque (Nm): 550 (system output)
Transmission:Automatic
Seats:5
Doors:5
Kerb Weight (kg):2,290
Colours:11
NCAP Safety Rating:Five-Star


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Author

Ashvin Suri

Ashvin has been involved with the renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors since 2006. He is passionate about the transition to a low-carbon economy and electric transportation. Ashvin commenced his career in 1994, working with US investment banks in New York. Post his MBA from the London Business School (1996-1998), he continued to work in investment banking at Flemings (London) and JPMorgan (London). His roles included corporate finance advisory, M&A and capital raising. He has been involved across diverse industry sectors, to include engineering, aerospace, oil & gas, airports and automotive across Asia and Europe. In 2010, he co-founded a solar development platform, for large scale ground and roof solar projects to include the UK, Italy, Germany and France. He has also advised on various renewable energy (wind and solar) utility scale projects working with global institutional investors and independent power producers (IPP’s) in the renewable energy sector. He has also advised in key international markets like India, to include advising the TVS Group, a multi-billion dollar industrial and automotive group in India. Ashvin has also advised Indian Energy, an IPP backed by Guggenheim (a US$ 165 billion fund). He has also advised AMIH, a US$ 2 billion, Singapore based group. Ashvin has also worked in the real estate and infrastructure sector, to including working with the Matrix Group (a US$ 4 billion property group in the UK) to launch one of the first few institutional real estate funds for the Indian real estate market. The fund was successfully launched with significant institutional support from the UK/ European markets. He has also advised on water infrastructure, to include advising a Swedish clean technology company in the water sector. He is also a member of the Forbury Investment Network advisory committee. He has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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