Plug-in luxury SUVs didn't become a reality until recently, when Porsche, BMW, and now Mercedes-Benz, decided there was a market for sport utility vehicles with multi-mode hybrid systems offering greater performance. The Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid, the BMW X5 xDrive40e and the Mercedes-Benz GLE 550e Plug-In Hybrid are examples of this. All 3 cars offer around 20 miles of pure-electric power.
In the GLE550e, a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 generates 329 horsepower. The gas engine is mated to an 85-kW electric motor at the front of the seven-speed automatic transmission, with a clutch system able to extract the gasoline engine from the driveline when desired. The gas engine and electric motor combine to create 436 hp and 479 pound-feet of torque. Reviewers notice an uncommon smoothness in the hybrid system. Performance is strong; 0-60 mph takes around seven seconds.
Inside EVs reviewers say: "The new GLE550e 4MATIC with plug-in hybrid drive combines the power and refinement of a V8 engine with the fuel consumption of a three-liter car and the versatility of a premium SUV. The drive system components comprise a V6 direct-injection gasoline engine with 329 hp and a hybrid module with 114 hp of electric power. The system peak torque is a massive 479 lbs-ft. In addition to impressive acceleration thanks to the boost function, the innovative system drive also offers all-electric driving at speeds up to 81 mph, optimized energy recovery thanks to the intelligent operating strategy and comfort functions such as pre-entry climate control in summer and winter.
A selector switch on the center console and the instrument cluster offer the driver a choice between four specific operating modes:
• HYBRID: the system controls automatically select the most sensible operating mode with combustion engine and/or electric motor for optimising the overall energy balance
• E-MODE: all-electric driving
• E-SAVE: this mode preserves the current state of charge of the battery to be able to drive on all-electric power at a later time, for example in urban traffic
• CHARGE: battery is charged while driving and when the vehicle is stationary
The compact hybrid module is fully integrated into the seven-speed 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission. The electrical energy is stored in a lithium-ion battery with an energy content of 8.8 kWh, which can be recharged using public charging stations, the wallbox charger at home or on a conventional 220 volt power outlet. The charging time using the wallbox charger or the charging station is around two hours."
Electromotivela.com says: "Sleek and purposeful, the Mercedes GLE 550e is a no-brainer for folks who like to live large. Roof rails accommodate a variety of available accessory attachments for carrying bikes, surfboards, skis, snowboards and cargo carriers. The long wheelbase, short overhangs, crisp lines and strong uni-body of the GLE help make it spacious and smooth-riding, yet agile and maneuverable. Advanced aerodynamics, substantial wheels and LED lighting perform their functions with flair.
Hand-finished wood, hand-fitted upholstery and subtle metallic details define a cabin that’s generous with room and expectantly refined. Crisp, clear gauges flank a vivid color multifunction display in front of the driver, while an 8-inch color screen takes center stage atop the dash. Its new touchpad lets you use tablet-style pinch and swipe gestures, or even handwriting, while its available voice control learns how you talk. And since many of its features are easily adjustable from the steering wheel, you can spend more time the feel of your hand-stitched Nappa leather trim. Its power liftgate opens to reveal up to 80.3 cu ft of flat, richly carpeted cargo space with the 60/40-split rear seats folded. You’ll also find concealed underfloor storage, a side net and a 12-volt power port.
With a choice of gasoline, clean diesel or Plug-In HYBRID power, the GLE’s DYNAMIC SELECT system lets you adapt multiple driving systems with the twist of a knob — for greater confidence on slick roads, or added fun on back roads. The intelligent hybrid system helps save gasoline whenever possible. It automatically shuts off the engine when coasting, at stoplights and in other idle situations. When the gas engine is needed, it restarts instantly and automatically for immediate response. In CHARGE mode, the gasoline engine runs continuously to recharge the lithium-ion battery."
The plug-in hybrid has a starting MSRP $66,300. It is eligible for a $4,085 Federal Tax Credit.
There are currently 4 primary incentives available to the California consumer that substantially lower the cost of buying or leasing an EV. CURRENT provides all the guidance or assistance you may need to apply for these incentives.