Mercedes Benz C-Class plug-in hybrid confirmed

Last month, Mercedes Benz confirmed that the next generation C-Class will have a hybrid version as part of the C-Class fourth generation line-up. The new generation is expected at “the end of next year or the beginning of the year after [2015]” according to Peter Schmidt, the product development manager at Mercedes Benz.

Now, in an exclusive interview with CarAdvice Australia, the head of Mercedes Benz US operations revealed the C-Class will offer plug-in charging capability. Due to be released late next year as a 2015 model year, the C-Class plug-in hybrid will be able to be charged via a household outlet or an internal combustion engine. It will be able to run solely on electric power, but no range estimates were given.

“There will be a plug-in hybrid that will have full electric capability on the C-Class platform,” confirmed President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA, Stephen Cannon. He went on to say that “Over time we’re going to be proliferating [electric vehicles]… it’s going to start with hybridisation.”

The E-Class Hybrid, the first hybrid offering from Mercedes Benz, launch last year, but does not offer plug-in charging capability. Cannon wouldn’t confirm that the E-Class would get plug-in functionality, but he did outline the upcoming plans for the B-Class electric unveiled last week at the New York Auto Show. “There will be an offering of full electrics – Smart and B-Class as our start – complemented by hybrids, plug-in hybrids, clean diesels and eventually fuel cells.”

Recently, Mercedes-Benz inadvertently revealed a picture to journalists in a presentation showing an ‘e-drive’ display in an S-Class interior. If correct, and the new S-Class launches later this year with a plug-in hybrid model, it will beat the now-confirmed C-Class plug-in to market.

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