Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Mercedes A Class Hybrid?

battery A-ClassOn a visit to Brisbane I had a test drive of Shaun Williams' battery powered Electric-Echo car. Shawn commented that the Mercedes Benz A Class car I arrived in would be a good choice for similar conversion to an electric car.

The A Class has a sandwich floor, with an empty space under the passenger cabin. According to BCC and Times car reviewer, Jeremy Clarkson, "... the A-class had been originally conceived as an electric car and the cavity had been created as somewhere to store the batteries".

There was a prototype electric a-class but using the advanced ZEBRA sodium/nickel chloride battery technology and Mercedes are now trying the same technology in the smaller Smart car and it is also used in the Indian Reva NXG Electric Car.

Mercedes Benz A Class loading a filing cabinetThe A class also makes efficient use of space. The result is a small car with a large load. This is especially important for energy efficient cars. The space in the A class is shown by these two photos, the first shows a skeptical office supplies employee wondering how a four drawer filing cabinet will fit in such a small car (the counter staff had asked if the vehicles was a four wheel drive, assuming that one was needed). Mercedes Benz A Class with filing cabinet loaded The second photo shows the cabinet in the car, with room left for three people.

Mercedes-Benz have produced a S-Class Hybrid prototype. Perhaps some of the technology will trickle down to the A-Class.


Digger Jones said...

Problem with the A-Class Merc is that it is as girly a little car as you can find. A bit of a noddy mobile unfortunately.
Only car that is worse is the Mercedes Smart.

I am looking at converting a cat to electric, but need to follow the trusted advice of "only convert a car that you would be happy to be seen in"

Unknown said...

Well, John, having owned an A-Class since 1999, having parked in spots your masculine beast wouldn't dare, having put more into it than you'd fit into an average 4WD (the seats come out, John) and having the safety level of an S-Class, I'd reckon you're too concerned with your fragile little ego to be making any of life's choices with any great good sense. Get a brain, John. Get a brain.

Unknown said...

BMW is launching it as a counter of Mercedes A Class which is also recently launched at a price tag of 21 lac and grabbed almost 400 bookings in mere 10 days.It will be interesting to see the competition of these little beasts.