Mercedes GLE SUV Is Now Available With Plug-in Hybrid Power
Plugin hybrids are becoming the norm these days but they are still expensive to all but those who have deep pockets. The Mercedes GLE SUV is expensive to begin with, £55k expensive for entry-level models. But what is interesting with this GLE PHEV is that Mercedes has decided to use a four-cylinder, 2.0-litre turbo diesel. The devil’s engine as we now call it. Here’s the interesting part, the combination of a 31.2kWh battery and electric motor enables a total system power of 315bhp and 700Nm of torque. We have always maintained diesel plugin hybrids do not work because the diesel engine is heavy and you don’t get much pure electric range indeed it’s just better to own a diesel car if you cover a lot of miles per year.
But the technology is moving on, more powerful electric motors, bigger batteries mean the early disadvantages of diesel plugin hybrids are beginning to slowly evaporate. Mercedes reckons the GLE Plugin Hybrid has a pure electric range of 62 miles and ridiculous 256mpg, which is surely overstated, we reckon a 65mpg range is more realistic. The top speed in purely electric mode is 99mph, C02 figures are rated at 29g/km.
If memory serves me well I think this is the first plugin hybrid, be it diesel or petrol, that has such a large range. The typical range for a current PHEV is around 28 miles depending on the manufacturer. But you always have to factor in that manufactures, lets be kind here, overstate the range using lab-based loopholes. So the true range electric range is usually 50 percent of that which is officially stated.
So expect the Mercedes GLE Plugin Hybrid to cover around 30 miles in pure electric mode. That is still better the current range of Plugin Hybrids from Volvo, for example. Mercedes states that the GLE Plugin Hybrid can recharge from 10 to 80 percent in just 20 minutes, using a rapid charger of course.
So, does the Mercedes GLE Plugin Hybrid mean the diesel engine will survive the great extinction event planned for 2040? Who knows? Governments may change their mind if there is an economic benefit to the national interests, of the German auto market for example.
But it’s all conjecture for the moment. And so is the price, Mercedes has yet to reveal pricing, but we reckon you might have to fork out at least £80k when the GLE Plugin Hybrid arrives in UK and European showrooms at the end of 2020.