“Our compact cars with EQ Power are very efficient overall,” says Jochen Eck. “Not only because of the power of the electric motor and the battery but also because we use both components for recuperation.” Recuperation means brake energy regeneration, which makes it possible to recharge the battery while driving: when braking or coasting, the energy is recovered and stored in the battery. In total, the plug-in hybrids have five different drive programmes. In Comfort, the emphasis is on driving dynamics in a combined drive mode and in ECO, electric driving is prioritized. In Sport, driving with the combustion engine is preferred. If you need to save electric range on a long-distance trip, e.g. for an electric city drive at your destination, the drive mode Battery Level keeps the battery’s status of charge constant by only using the combustion engine.
Maximum electric performance is available in the drive mode Electric with fully electric driving. The combustion engine is only engaged if the driver makes a kickdown, for instance. Furthermore, five different recuperation levels can be selected individually with the steering wheel paddles: DAUTO, D+, D, D- and D--. Jochen Eck suggests: “Especially for everyday driving DAUTO is very comfortable as the driver can completely leave recuperation to the vehicle. It automatically decides whether recuperation is feasible and if so, in which level. Depending on vehicles ahead, which are constantly monitored via radar.”