Detroit Motor Show: Mercedes wants 10 PHEVs by 2017

Mercedes-Benz S500 Hybrid

MERCEDES-Benz will offer 10 plug-in hybrids by 2017.

Speaking at the Detroit motor show, the car maker's research and development chief, Thomas Weber, confirmed that a broader range of PHEVs will join the hybrid versions of the S500, the company's first plug-in, and the C350 Plug-in that was revealed at the show.

Confirmed for electrification is the M-Class successor, the new GLE, which will be shown at the 2015 New York motor show.

"SUVs is where the pressure from the legislation side is heaviest," Weber said. That suggests that the new GLC, which replaces the GLK SUV, will also be offered as a plug-in model.

Not all SUVs will be hybridised just yet, though, with Weber ruling out a plug-in version of the GLE Coupe: "Why would we combine the most dynamic [SUV] with a plug-in? It's possible, but it does not make sense."

Mercedes’ sedans and wagons will also be offered as plug-ins.

"It's always necessary to combine the new [plug-in] launch with a new model. In a short period of time a new E-Class will come to market – of course there will be an E-Class hybrid, because all cars C-Class and upward we definitely have to prepare for plug-in hybrid."

The plug-in models are driven by both legislation – which forces carmakers in Europe to have an average of 95g/km by 2020 – and customer demand.

Currently, Mercedes' fleet average, according to Weber, is an impressive 130g/km ahead of the release of the C350 plug-in at Detroit. 

"The last remaining grams are the hardest, so we have to prepare our fleet for further optimisation steps, and plug-ins across our fleet will play a major role," he said.

"It's now our job to make these [plug-in models] emotional and affordable."

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