Following last year’s successful debut, from 7 to 9 July 2011 the second Silvretta electric car rally takes place in the Montafon region of Austria. This time Daimler AG is competing with a total of seven electric cars of the Mercedes-Benz and smart brands. At the start for the second time: the smart fortwo electric drive and the B-Class F-CELL.

A first-time participant this year is the battery-electric A-Class E-CELL. The highlight of the rally is again the highly efficient super sports car SLS AMG E-CELL, whose market launch is scheduled for 2013.

Speed is not of the essence in the three-day rally that leads through the Vorarlberg mountain landscape, but regularity and skill. Covering a total distance of almost 300 kilometers and a total difference in altitude of 5500 meters, the electric car rally is almost twice as long as the premiere in 2010 and, as a comparison of the courses shows, far more demanding. Gradients of up to 14 percent must be negotiated with precision. The driver teams are put through various trials in which hundredths of seconds count in the scoring. But they will be rewarded with views of the picturesque Montafon mountains. The rally takes the locally emission-free, noiseless electric cars through the Austrian provinces Vorarlberg and Tyrol.

Vorarlberg province is one of the biggest model regions in Europe for the introduction and development of electric mobility. The Austrian energy supply company illwerke vkw, a partner of the Silvretta electric car rally, supports the model region under the name VLOTTE – an artificial coinage from Vorarlberg and Flotte, the German for fleet. Illwerke vkw is steadily expanding the necessary infrastructure for electrically powered vehicles in the region and in this way promotes the emergence of a proper electric mobility network.

Electric cars from Mercedes-Benz and smart
By taking part in the electric rally, Daimler demonstrates once again how practical and reliable its electric cars already are today. The higher demands of this year’s rally pose no obstacle to the competing vehicles.

The vehicles made available for the tour show just how varied the Daimler range of electric cars with battery or fuel cell already is today. With the smart fortwo electric drive, the ideal battery-electric urban car takes the start in the rally. With a range of 135 kilometers the electric smart delivers loads of driving pleasure in urban settings.

The Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL runs on hydrogen and has a locally emission-free range of about 400 kilometers. Just recently Mercedes-Benz demonstrated its workaday practicality and technical maturity in the F-CELL World Drive: from late January through early June, three Mercedes B-Class F-CELL cars drove round the world, covering more than 30,000 kilometers through 14 countries on four continents. The vehicle thus suggests itself especially for use over longer distances and can be completely refueled in less than three minutes. Also, for the first time the A-Class E-CELL is competing in the electric car rally. It offers lots of space, variability and utmost comfort – combined with zero emissions. With an operating range of over 200 kilometers it is well-suited for locally emission-free urban and interurban travel. All models are fully up to production standard and already are available to selected customers.

A highlight of the electric rally is the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG E-CELL. The development mule for the car that will come out on the market in 2013 proves on the winding Alpine course that dynamic driving pleasure in combination with an electric drive is not a contradiction at all. The fascinating gullwing car with the emission-free high-tech drive featuring a peak output of 392 kW and peak torque of 880 Newton meters clearly is the trendsetter in the super sports car market segment.

Source: Daimler AG