Stuttgart –To coincide perfectly with its market launch on 19 November 2011, the new M-Class has received a very special award: the premium SUV has become the first vehicle in its class to obtain the much sought-after environmental certificate in accordance with ISO standard TR 14062.
With this approval, the independent examiners of the German TÜV Süd are honouring the commitment which the corporation is making to comprehensive environmental protection, an aspect which is firmly embedded in the operating guidelines for the entire Daimler Group.
As part of these processes, the automotive manufacturer takes into account the effect which a vehicle has on the environment throughout its entire life cycle – from development via the production process and operation right through to disposal. The environmental certificate is therefore based on an exhaustive Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for the M-Class.
Based on the ISO standard TR 14062, the certificate is valid for all models of the M-Class. Using the Mercedes-Benz ML 250 BlueTEC 4MATIC by way of example, factors such as energy requirements and emissions over a distance of 250,000 kilometres were calculated.
As a result of this, the SUV took the leading position in its market segment as a champion of efficiency: it consumes only 6.0 litres of diesel per 100 kilometres (158 g CO2/km) and, thanks to innovative SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) exhaust gas technology with AdBlue injection, already undercuts the EU6 guidelines planned to be introduced in 2014.
Compared with the previous model, the ML 300 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY 4MATIC from 2011, over its entire life cycle the new M-Class achieves 25 percent (18 tons) less CO2 emissions, 38 percent less nitrogen oxide emissions and, thanks to the lower fuel consumption and the use of SCR technology, primary energy savings of 24 percent. Compared with the previous model at the time of market launch in 2005, namely the ML 280 CDI 4MATIC, the savings are even greater: in this case it has been possible to reduce CO2 emissions by 32 percent (25 tons), nitrogen oxide emissions by 62 percent, and primary energy by 31 percent. The primary energy savings of 31 percent equate to the energy content of around 9800 litres of diesel fuel.
In addition to the ML 250 BlueTEC 4MATIC, impressively high efficiency results were also achieved by the ML 350 BlueTEC 4MATIC, as well as the petrol model, the ML 350 4MATIC BlueEFFICIENCY: compared with the previous models, the entire model range consumes an average of 25 percent less fuel.
The outstanding fuel economy figures achieved by the efficiency champion come courtesy of new development tools, including the “energy-transparent vehicle”, for example.
Developed by Daimler and used exclusively in the automotive industry, this process enables development engineers to examine the entire flow of energy throughout the vehicle (tank to wheel). The knowledge gained in this way can be used to optimise every single assembly that has an impact on fuel consumption, right down to individual components, such as wheel bearings.
Stable loop: recycling and natural materials in the M-Class
No less than 37 high-quality recyclate components have been approved for use in the M-Class. These include wheel arch linings, cable ducts, and under body panels. Wherever possible, recyclate materials are derived from vehicle-related waste streams.
The aforementioned front wheel arches are made from recovered vehicle components, for example starter battery casing, bumper covers or process waste from cockpit production. Overall, the weight of these recycling parts has increased by 29 percent compared with the predecessor.
This concept also contributes to the M-Class already being able to comply with the recycling rate of 95 percent which is due to be introduced throughout Europe from 2015.Renewable materials are used in 15 components in the M-Class.
The total weight of components manufactured using renewable materials is 13.1 kilograms, a figure which has increased by 153 percent compared with the previous model. Renewable materials are mainly used in the interior of the M-Class, but there are also some technical applications: olive coke is used for the activated charcoal filter, which adsorbs hydrocarbon emissions from the tank and is constantly regenerated during driving operation.