While attending a ski race in Austria, the Governator, Arnold Schwarzenegger took a test drive of his new Mercedes-Benz G350d EV conversion. As we all know the Guvner likes his big 4×4’s and even tanks, but that said, he also a keen supporter of clean energy and clean running vehicles.
He helped in the idea of this eco friendly G-Wagen, and his contacts at Kreisel Electric of Austria, installed the all electric powertrain. The final product is a powerful, luxury SUV with 186 miles of driving range. “This amazing off road vehicle is a clean and rapid electric car, a dream has become reality!” says Schwarzenegger.
Battery packs with a capacity of 80 kWh sit under the bonnet and in the rear void where the fuel tank previously sat. The truck is capable of up to 150-kW charging, which Kreisel says juices the batteries to 80 percent in just 25 minutes.
Despite weighing well over 2.26 tonne, with the batteries taking up a half tonne of that, the star’s latest toy can do 0-62 mph in a respectable 5.6 seconds thanks to a pair of electric motors producing a combined 360 kW, around 482 horsepower.
Replacing a diesel powertrain with an electric one is a particularly fitting metaphor for the direction mobility is headed. Especially in Europe, where diesel is popular and regulations are tightening, automakers are looking to produce more EVs.
Whilst this G-Wagen is a prototype, Schwarzenegger will be driving it around California, providing Kreisel with valuable feedback, and of course publicity for its development of electric powertrains.