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Mercedes Benz A-Klasse, Zytec's Electric Version

If the original manufacturer can't do it, it doesn't mean others can't...Zytek, a British engineering company, decided to take a Mercedes Benz A-Klasse and give it an extensive heart transplant. The car was stripped of it's original engine and fitted with and electric one, to prove...it can be done.

Used as a demonstration car, the A-Klasse uses the "production-ready" Zytek 55kW E-Drive electric powertrain. Specially developed to be fitted into vehicles weighing less than 1,700 kg (3,740 pounds), the E-Drive provides a maximum torque from 120 Nm to 160 Nm and reaches maximum motor speeds of 12,000 rpm to 13,000 rpm. Translated into speed, this means roughly 70 mph (112 km/h).

The A-Klasse gets its power from two air-cooled sodium nickel chloride battery packs, placed under the floor of the vehicle. They are enough to last about 120 miles (190 km) in a typical mixed drive cycle.

Zytek's conversion of the A-Klasse is independent of Mercedes Benz. The German manufacturer is currently engaged into developing the new electric smart, as well as the B-Klasse F-Cell. The latter, which will enter production in late 2009. The F-Cell system fitted on the B-Klasse is not, Mercedes said, the one developed for the 2004 A-Klasse, but an entirely new one.

Zytek began its EV adventure in 1998, with the unveiling of the Electric Lotus Elise, a remarkable display of technology in its time. It was followed by an electric MCC smart and a diesel hybrid version of the smart, this time commissioned by Daimler and first shown at the 2001 Frankfurt Auto Show.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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