Mercedes East London plant makes C-Class history
With a total investment of around R100 million in the Mercedes-Benz East London plant, the Hybrid project comprised of more than 500 new purchase parts, of which 200 were local, including significant changes to the bumpers and wiring harnesses.
“This investment further demonstrates the company’s commitment to the advancement of technology and skills development in the country,” says Florian Seidler, Co-Chief Executive Officer of Mercedes-Benz South Africa & Executive Director Mercedes-Benz Cars.
The successful manufacture of the C 350 e sedan at the award winning plant to exacting world-class standards, is another milestone in the company’s illustrious 68-year history of engineering excellence.
In May 2015 the East London plant celebrated a record milestone of 1 million vehicles produced and continues to receive accolades and awards.
Logistics division’s Project Management Specialist, Liebrecht Otto, confirms all employees -and contractors involved with the manufacture of these hybrid units were specifically trained to safely work with high voltage components.
Instructors from TÜV SÜD, an international service corporation focusing on consulting, testing, certification and training, were brought in to the plant to ensure that we met the highest international safety standards.
“We have now set the benchmark in South Africa for safety, as we do for quality. From a facility perspective, to accommodate some of the additional work content, we installed a new Lifter and High Station in the Assembly area. Additionally, we installed a manipulator on the trim line to aid the operator in securing the new battery into the vehicle,” adds Otto.
The C 350 e uses the most advanced form of hybrid technology. Its electrical energy storage unit is a high-voltage lithium-ion battery with a total capacity of 6.2 kWh, which can be charged from an external power source and so makes an effective contribution to the low consumption and emission figures.
The battery is water-cooled, weighs around 100 kilograms and is mounted in a sheet steel housing underneath the rear axle in order to maximise crash safety, driving dynamics and boot space.
Thanks to an intelligent on-board charging system, the battery can be recharged in around 1 hour 45 minutes at a wall-box (230 V, 16 A, 3.7 kW single-phase).
Alternatively, charging via a standard domestic socket is of course also possible. Depending on the connection, a charge time of around two hours is achievable (with 230 V and 13 A, 3.0 kW). Despite the space taken up by the battery, the C 350 e still has a boot capacity of 335 litres.
It is priced at 804 900.
– CAJ News
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