Mercedes-Benz E400 Hybrid… What’s different?

Credit: MBUSA website

Mercedes Benz introduced the hybrid version of the E400 last year.  The hybrid system in the E-class is similar to the S-class.

Mercedes is one of the first manufacturers to use lithium-ion battery technology, and this has helped to decrease the size of the high voltage battery.  This vehicle can also be considered a “stop-start” because this is another example of a vehicle that will turn it’s internal combustion engine off when the vehicle is at a stop (such as at a traffic signal).

Below is a screenshot of the E400 hybrid from the Moditech Crash Recovery System:

Graphic: Moditech Crash Recovery System (click graphic for info)

Do you notice where the high voltage battery is located?  It is under the hood.  How does this compare to most other hybrids on the road today? In addition to shut down considerations, could the location of this battery affect rescue operations related to dash movement evolutions?  (The S400 series hybrid has this unique location as well.) Some other rescuer concerns with this vehicle include:

  • Location of a the 12-volt battery (in the trunk)
  • Auxiliary 12-volt battery (also in trunk)
  • 11 airbags (including 2 airbags in each front seat for side impact protection)
  • Higher-strength steels in use in the b-posts.

Any/all of these features have the potential to affect rescue/extrication operations. Do you, as a rescuer, always know what is inside when you are approaching a vehicle involved in an accident or other emergency scenario?