We may not have the Mercedes-Benz E350e in our local market (yet), but if and when it comes you can be assured that you're doing the right thing for the environment. After a comprehensive environmental audit by TÜV Süd, the German Technical Inspection Authority, the E350e was found to be comprehensively cleaner than the comparable E350 CGI of old. But this audit involves more than just emissions from driving.
When the life cycle of the car is considered, this includes everything from manufacturing the materials, to production of the car, to driving of the car over 250,000 kilometres based on verified consumption figures, and recycling as well. It has been said in the past that hybrid systems are actually more harmful for the environment and in many cases this may be true, but for the E350e it is verified that it is has a smaller carbon footprint from start to finish.
How much cleaner is it? When the E350e is charged with a European energy mix (it is a plug-in hybrid after all), the figure comes is a whopping 44% cleaner than the E350 CGI. Yes, the audit also takes into account where the electrical energy is coming from and what kind of carbon emissions are the result of such energy- which has been an argument against plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles for a while. The reduction in carbon footprint goes as high as 63% if only renewable energy is used to charge the E350e. Energy consumption is down by between 31% and 48% across all of its phases.
The powertrain for the Mercedes-Benz E350e is similar to that of the one we have in the C350e, which is fairly impressive in its operation, although the E350e has 9 forward gears instead of the C350e's "paltry" 7 forward gears, which should lead to better efficiency as well. With the EEV incentives still applicable for the E350e, it's only a matter of time before we see it launched for our market.