Any intelligent car enthusiast will tell it to you straight: looks are important, but nothing is more important than the purr of a good engine. Mercedes-Benz, already a winning company in terms of looks and engines, is prepping to one-up themselves by turning over the production of a new generation of transmission-integrated electric engines for their electric vehicles to the Berlin, Germany-based Mercedes-Benz plant.
“The decision to award the contract for the development and production of the new transmission-integrated electric engine to Berlin was made as part of the overall strategy of actively shaping sustainable mobility,” reports Daimler. Mercedes knows the announcement is a big deal — so big, in fact, that they’re busy converting a hall with 4,000 m² of space to be used as the site of production, investing EUR 40 million toward the development of the new engine, and assigning 50 employees to the tasks of developing and producing the engines. Everything, including machinery, looks to be up and running by 2011.
The new engine, expected to be used in all Mercedes-Benz hybrid vehicles from 2010 and beyond, is a transmission-integrated electric engine, which means the electric engine is integrated into the automatic transmission for a potential power of 15 kW or more. Performance is increased by combustion engine interaction, and consumption is decreased by recovering energy during braking, which recharges the battery.