Mercedes are about to come out with a facelift for the S-Class sooner rather than later.
Specifically, the Mercedes-Benz S550e will be getting additions that will change the way the car is going to be perceived. This vehicle will become the first plug-in hybrid to come with wireless charging support when it launches in 2017. The commercial application of the Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging system is expected to be a game changer on the Mercedes-Benz S550e, and maybe a model of more things to come in future – and less expensive – vehicles.
The Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging (WEVC) system used on the vehicle will be licensed by Qualcomm’s Halo technology. The BMW i8 Formula E safety car was instrumental in improving the Halo technology, as it from the basis for everything from testing to developing the system. This vehicle was one of its kind as it was capable of being charged wirelessly. The upcoming 2017 Mercedes-Benz S550e will also sport this ability when the vehicle is parked over a special pad meant for charging. The Halo technology relies on magnetic induction in order to send energy into the batteries, and Qualcomm says that the process has a 90% efficiency rating just like the connector charging technology.
Qualcomm even says that the efficiency of the Halo system increases with power. At present, the system has a rating of 3.6 kW, which is just about good enough for small batteries like those present on the Mercedes-Benz S550e. The vehicle comes with an 8.7-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery.
Wireless charging is expected to be the future when it comes to electric vehicles. Qualcomm is also working on a technology that would allow vehicles to get charged up while on the road. A highway charging infrastructure is essential for this feature to work. This mechanism, which works on induction charging technology just like on a microwave, is expected to be implemented in urban areas before expanding to highways.
While this model gets a major upgrade in terms of the charging technology, the standard variants are expected to downsize in terms of engine options. As a precursor to the upcoming development, the Mercedes Benz S-Class Maybach variants recently received new engine options which develop almost same power but with fewer cylinders. It will help the Mercedes-Benz range comply with the ever increasing strict emission norms.
The 2017 Mercedes-Benz S550e is expected to arrive early next year along with the standard variants.