08 Jan 20

Mercedes' Avatar concept has scales graphene-based organic battery cells

Fan of the film Avatar? Good, there's a strong chance you'll dig Mercedes' new concept - the AVTR - which comes equipped with scales and, vegan leather graphene-based organic battery cells.

Just weeks after Mercedes-Benz made its debut in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship in Saudi Arabia, the German carmaker stepped up its future thinking and pulled the covers off its latest concept at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. 

Called the AVTR, the four-wheeled creature-like car owes much of its curious form to the 2009 Avatar movie directed by James Cameron, who appeared on stage at the reveal. 

While the car is powered by graphene-based organic battery cells that don’t use earth minerals and could even one day be compostable, its interior is made from recycled plastics and vegan leather to lessen its impact on the environment. With combustion cars and vehicles contributing to the environmental crisis and poor air quality, marques like Mercedes are racing to develop more sustainable vehicles for the future, putting the tech to the test on Formula E tracks around the world. 

Once past the gaping light bar, which stretches the width of the car, you'll notice the glowing, spherical wheels which are designed to enable the car to move forward, sideways or diagonally. Handy for those tight spaces, right? Linking back to the film, Mercedes claim the wheels were inspired by the “seeds of the Tree of Souls" from Cameron's movie. 

Moving to the rear, you can't fail to notice 33 scale-like features that Mercedes call 'bionic flaps,' which the carmaker hopes will be used to communicate with people outside the car. 

On the inside, there's no steering wheel - remember, this is the future we're talking about. Instead, the occupants interact with the car through an oval-shaped controller in the centre console, while that and the seats vibrate along with the pace of your breathing and heart rate. Something Ola Kallenius, the chairman of Mercedes-Benz’s parent company Daimler, claims is an example of how man and machine might eventually merge. 

While the AVTR might be the work of science fiction, Mercedes' concept could be a glimpse into the future of humankind's relationship with the car. But for now, the German powerhouse is busy perfecting its future electric technology on the Formula E track as it heads to Santiago for the third round of the 2019/20 season on January 18. Join us

Learn more about the Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E team