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Mercedes-Benz's new coupe is one huge solar panel

Posted: 05 Nov 2014     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:solar power  hybrid  vehicle  Mercedes-Benz 

The latest concept SUV from Mercedes-Benz is the stuff solar power dreams are made of. Unveiled this week in Beijing, Vision G-Code—a Sports Utility Coupe (SUC) as the German carmaker calls it—has all sorts of futuristic features.

It runs on hybrid engine, but it's not your typical hybrid. The car's front wheels are driven by a turbocharged combustion engine, while an electric motor drives the rear axle and transmits its power selectively to the two back wheels. And Mercedes-Benz has another innovation up its sleeve.

Typically, a hybrid's electric motor is powered by regenerative braking or plug-in technology. The G-Code, however, gets its power through its paint job.

Vision G-Code

The Vision G-Code concept vehicle is not your typical hybrid. (Source: Mercedes-Benz)

Dubbed as the "multi-voltaic silver" finish, the paint not only acts like a giant solar cell but can also generate an electrostatic charge from the wind when the vehicle is stationary. These electrical charges, in turn, are tapped and used for the methane and hydrogen synthesis, according to the carmaker. The suspension also generates a charge with every movement that the car makes.

Visually, Vision G-Code is equipped with a continuous glass design that stretches from the driver's side window all the way around the windshield to the passenger side. Mercedes-Benz likens it to the cockpit glazing of a powerboat, but for science fiction fans, the look might remind them of a Star Trek spacecraft.

Sadly, there might never be a perfect mass production version of the G-Code, but there is hope that many of its design features will end up in Mercedes-Benz's future models. Until that happens, all we can do is daydream about driving the coupe.

- Jasmine Solana
  EE Times India

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