Mercedes GLE-Class plug-in hybrid could rock 62 miles of EV range

Even if the EPA rates it lower, that range is still remarkable.


Plug-in hybrids have been making steady gains in EV range as battery and motor tech improves. To that end, Mercedes-Benz's newest plug-in hybrid could sport some impressive electric-only range.

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class plug-in hybrid is aiming for a 62-mile (100-kilometer) EV range, Automotive News reports, citing an interview with Ola Källenius, head of Mercedes-Benz R&D and the successor to current Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche.

It would be the first combustion-engine vehicle to offer such a range -- most vehicles, including Mercedes-Benz's current PHEVs, target a 31-mile (50-km) range, which is the minimum required to count toward an upcoming EV-credit program in China, currently the market hungriest for electrified vehicles.

The GLE-Class also grew a third row for the 2020 model year, because the small-planet-sized GLS-Class isn't for everyone.

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Don't get too hung up on that single number, though. Källenius told Automotive News that this range estimate is by Europe's new WLTP testing standard. While it's closer to the figures that the EPA puts together in the US, there's still a disparity between the two, with EPA measurements usually coming in below WLTP estimates. But still, even if the EPA-estimated range is 50 miles, it's still a commendable figure.

It might hold the crown when it goes on sale, but that reign may not last very long. As Automotive News notes, BMW is working on a 100-km system for its plug-in hybrids, as well, and it's expected to debut before 2020. There's also the matter of the Polestar 1, a 600-plus-horsepower PHEV that it believed to have a range closer to 90 miles. But with a MSRP of $155,000, it's not exactly on the same playing field (or even playing the same sport) as the GLE.

Some GLE-Class variants that aren't plug-in hybrids will still benefit from electrification. When the 2020 GLE-Class debuted, Mercedes-Benz announced that the GLE350 4Matic will wield its new EQ Boost 48-volt mild hybrid system, which improves both performance and efficiency, depending on how it's used. The new Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class is expected to go on sale next year.

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class: See what else Mercedes has in store for the new GLE.

2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class: Electrification is everywhere, and it's not just for efficiency anymore.