Environment Check for New E-Class
If you want to find out how environmentally compatible a vehicle is, you have to look at more than just the fuel consumption and emission figures. To obtain a full overview, it’s vital to take the vehicle’s entire life cycle into account — from the extraction of the raw materials it contains to the car’s production, its many years of use, and its eventual recycling/disposal as an end-of-life vehicle. A Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) enables all of these factors to be systematically determined down to the last detail. Life Cycle Assessments are an important tool for the developers and engineers at Mercedes-Benz. With the help of LCAs, they can investigate which materials, components,and technologies are best suited for a new vehicle from an environmental point of view. This is the only way in which environmental sustainability can be steadily improved from one model to the next. Mercedes-Benz also always lets independent organizations check its vehicles’ environmental compatibility. And it does so successfully, as almost all Mercedes-Benz cars have received TÜV SÜD’s environmental certificate.
This is also the case with the new E-Class. One of the best-performing models from an environmental point of view is the E 220 d. Its greatest advantage is a standard consumption of just 3.9 liters per 100 kilometers, as measured in accordance with the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC). That corresponds to CO2 emissions of only 102 grams per kilometer — a value that only a few much smaller vehicles have been able to achieve to date. This good performance was attained with a whole host of intelligently networked measures, including the all-new OM 654 four-cylinder diesel engine (see pp. 4 ff.), a highly effective energy management system, less weight, and, last but not least, the best aerodynamics of any vehicle in this segment.
Impressive Overall Performance
The assessment of the entire life cycle also takes other values into account, such as the CO2 emissions and the energy consumed during the vehicle’s production and recycling/disposal phases. The CO2 assessment shows that the E 220 d produces a total of 36 tons of CO2 emissions during its entire life cycle, which is even less than its predecessor. The energy assessment is similarly positive. For all of the stages of its combined life cycle, the E 220 d requires 27 percent less primary energy than its predecessor. With regard to energy content, this decrease is the equivalent of saving around 6,000 liters of diesel fuel. The new E-Class also does well when it comes to materials. Because the engineers already took the recycling of the end-of-life vehicle into account during the model’s development, they managed to close many material cycles, for example, so that valuable materials can be recycled and reused. As a result, a total of 72 of the new sedan’s components with a combined weight of 54.4 kilograms are made from high-quality recycled plastics. The mass of the recycled-content components has thus been increased by 30 percent from the predecessor model. Another benefit for the environment and resources is that 90 of the components in the new E-Class (with a combined weight of 33.1 kilograms) are produced using natural materials. This means that the total weight of components produced using renewable raw materials has increased by 59 percent relative to the predecessor model.
However, materials are selected not only on the basis of high resource conservation standards. The safety and well-being of the vehicle occupants is just as important to the engineers, which is why ambitious allergy-prevention requirements were included in the development process, for example. This was also done successfully, as testified by the seal of quality of the European Center for Allergy Research Foundation (ECARF). The seal demonstrates that the interior of the new E-Class has been tested for allergens and found to be allergy-friendly.
The complete environmental certificate for the new E-Class as well as lots of additional information can be found in the Life Cycle series of documents on the Internet. You can also find the environmental certificates of other Mercedes-Benz models there.