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Mercedes-Benz Aims to Coach You on Eco-Friendly Driving Techniques

Words John Clark | January 19, 2021
More and more Mercedes-Benz customers are deciding in favor of an all-electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid
Words John Clark January 19, 2021

More and more Mercedes-Benz customers are deciding in favor of an all-electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid. To give customers special support when switching over to the age of electric mobility, Mercedes-Benz has developed an intelligent, digital personal trainer: the Mercedes me Eco Coach. This is the latest member in the eco-system of Mercedes-Benz me apps. In an entertaining manner, the Eco Coach familiarizes drivers of electrified Mercedes-Benz models with the electric capabilities of their vehicles. Customers who follow the recommendations and hints in the app not only get to know their car with alternative drive better – they also improve their driving style and can better protect the environment. Furthermore, they are rewarded with exclusive premiums and services by a program of bonus points

It all depends on the charging: To make the most efficient use of the advantages of a plug-in hybrid, you should charge it regularly at the domestic socket or wall box.

It all depends on the charging: To make the most efficient use of the advantages of a plug-in hybrid, you should charge it regularly at the domestic socket or wall box.

“The subject of sustainability is of great importance to many of our customers. With the Eco Coach, our customers receive a personal, smart trainer who can help them to adopt an even more efficient driving style. Our app combines the fun factor with the idea of sustainability, as the driver can earn a reward at any time by adopting a more environmentally friendly driving style. This is our way of accompanying and motivating our customers in a playful manner during the transition to the electric age. Our aim is to offer our customers an extraordinary driving experience in our xEV models in every respect,” says Britta Seeger, Member of the Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG Boards of Management for Sales.

“The subject of sustainability is of great importance to many of our customers.”

Challenges and points for charging, driving and parking

One of the key elements in the Eco Coach app are the different challenges – challenges that the user can meet successfully to score points. Also when it comes to driving a plug-in hybrid as efficiently as possible. The challenges include e.g. achieving the highest possible proportion of a journey under electric power, charging in different locations, charging on several days in succession and achieving the lowest possible fuel consumption. The number of points that can be scored depends on the difficulty of the challenge. For example, 100 points are awarded for completing the challenge “Charge your vehicle in three different locations”. The Mercedes me Eco Coach app also enables users to enter into competition with the Eco Coach community.

The points scored by users can be converted into premiums as part of an integrated bonus program. On launch in Germany, charging vouchers for the Mercedes-Benz charging service Mercedes me Charge and vouchers for the Mercedes-Benz Collection shop are available. It is also possible to redeem the points for CO2 compensation, for example to compensate the carbon dioxide emissions of plug-in hybrids when driving with the combustion engine. If the user decides on CO2 compensation, an investment is made in high-quality projects with CER certificates to the gold standard, together with selected partner companies.

The Mercedes me Eco Coach benefits both the driver and the environment

Naturally the hints in the app not only give drivers added value: the environment also benefits, and in two ways. On the one hand, the app encourages drivers to use the vehicle as efficiently and therefore fuel-efficiently as possible. One the other hand, following the hints ensures a longer operating life for the high-voltage battery. Because one of the aims of the app is to prolong the service life of vehicles with battery-electric drive. After all, the behavior of the customer has a significant influence on the long-term performance and usable capacity of the drive battery – as in the case of a smartphone battery.

The more often the app and its features are used, the more specifically it can coach the user. Its feedback is based on the individual driving profile, which is interpreted by the app’s algorithm and used for coaching purposes. Users can follow the development of their driving style by viewing their statistics in the app. They can then compare their data for e.g. consumption or the electric proportion of journeys directly with the average values of app users.

The more journeys and charging processes the app has available as an assessment basis for its hints, the more precise its support.

In Germany the new app is available for downloading free of charge in the App Store and Google Play Store. This personal trainer for electric driving will shortly become available in many other European countries as well. For the first time, the Eco Coach combines information and gamification elements to motivate drivers of all-electric models and especially users of Mercedes-Benz plug-in hybrids to charge their starter batteries on a regular basis. The aim of the app is therefore to enhance enjoyment of the product and contribute to optimum use of the vehicle’s capabilities and efficiency. Naturally there are not only hints on charging, as the app also includes driving in its coaching function. For example, it encourages drivers to accelerate moderately or drive as consistently as possible. In vehicles with MBUX, the hints will also be displayed onboard in the future.

With the Mercedes me Eco Coach, switching to electric mobility becomes easier and even more enjoyable

The EQ Ready app has already been available since 2017, is extremely popular and has been used more than 1.6 million times to date. It analyzes personal mobility behavior and answers the question whether daily routes can be managed with battery-electric EQ models or plug-in hybrids. The EQ Ready app compares individual mobility needs with the possibilities of current hybrids and electric cars. There is an increasing variety of these in the Mercedes-Benz portfolio. Accordingly, the app increasingly often answers the question of reconciling electric drive and mobility with “Yes”.

For many customers, changing over to electric mobility means immersing themselves in a new automotive world, with possibilities which were unknown to them in conventional cars. The aim of the Eco Coach is to facilitate this changeover, provide information and motivate with its gamification elements.

The sooner the app is used after purchasing the car, the better. Especially in the case of plug-in hybrids, it makes sense to integrate charging into the personal daily routine immediately after purchasing the car, so as to create a basis for long-term user behavior. Users who fully charge the vehicle as a matter of routine right from the start are able to use all the advantages of plug-in hybrid technology, minimize consumption, always absolve a large proportion of their short-distance and commuter journeys under all-electric power, and therefore noticeably reduce their CO2 footprint.