If you are wondering as to why European manufacturers are rushing headlong into hybrids and pure electric vehicles, 2020 marks the year where the strict 95g CO2/km fleet emission rule is enforced upon manufacturers based on total passenger vehicle registrations.
While there are exceptions, it effectively means that manufacturers are liable to be fined if the average CO2 per km output of passenger cars sold by the end of the year exceeds the 95g. To achieve that magical number, Mercedes-Benz (and other European brands) are introducing various new plug-in hybrid models to help keep the average CO2 output below the threshold, and they have just added three more plug-in models to compact class range.
Expected to go on sale in spring, the CLA Coupe, CLA Shooting Brake and GLA in 250e guise will join the A250e (hatch and saloon) and B250e announced last year. The three plug-in newcomers are powered by the same power unit as found in the A250e; comprising a 160 hp and 250 Nm 1.33-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder supplemented by an electric motor rated at 100 hp and 300 Nm, in combination, they generate a total system output of 218 hp and 450 Nm.
The EQ Power hybrid unit is mated to an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission and drives the front wheels. While the 0-100km/h acceleration numbers are impressive – CLA 250e (6.8 seconds), CLA Shooting Brake (6.9 seconds) and GLA (7.1 seconds) with top speeds exceeding 220 km/h, the same can also be said of their CO2 outputs which ranges from 31 g/km to 42 g/km.
All three models carry a 15.6 kWh lithium-ion battery pack (weighs approximately 150 kg) under their rear seats and Mercedes-Benz says that the clever exhaust system packaging is such that there’s virtually no compromise to the practical aspects of the vehicles such as legroom and cargo space.
The electric range per full charge are quoted in NEDC and WLTP (in brackets) cycles, it ranges from 72 km to 79 km (60km to 69 km) for the CLA 250e, 69 km to 76 km (58km to 68 km) for the CLA Shooting Brake 250e and 64 km to 71 km (53 km to 61 km) for the GLA 250e. AC normal charging is up to 7.4 kW while fast DC charging accommodates a maximum of 24 kW.