We're not sure how to translate "throwdown" in German, but Daimler executive Thomas Weber appears to have the concept down pat. Weber, who heads research and development at Daimler's Mercedes-Benz unit, tells Automotive News Europe that the B-Class Electric Drive will compare favorably to the BMW i3 - and pretty much anything powered by a battery – when it goes on sale next year.

Weber says the B-Class EV will have a real-world single-charge range of 125 miles as well as a top speed of 100 miles per hour. He also said the five-seat model would be "extremely competitive" on price, though he didn't elaborate enough to give a number. The B-Class EV debuts in the US next spring and will start sales in Europe next fall. No range extender is planned for the model. Mercedes-Benz unveiled the B-Class electric at the New York Auto Show in March. The automaker said at the time that the model would deliver 134 horsepower and 228 pound-feet of torque.

Weber also estimated that the Mercedes-Benz S 500 plug-in hybrid, which also becomes available to the public next year, would be able to achieve fuel economy of about 78 miles per gallon. Daimler also started selling its Smart ForTwo Electric in the US in May.


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  • 41 Comments
      RoyEMunson
      • 1 Year Ago
      Looks way better than the LEAF IMO. Nothing against LEAF owners, its proving to be a great car... just a bit homely looking.
      danfred311
      • 1 Year Ago
      Mm, and pigs will fly.
        danfred311
        • 1 Year Ago
        @danfred311
        It's almost as ugly as a Nissan Leaf. As lame as the i3 is, it has real excitement compared to that.
          danfred311
          • 1 Year Ago
          @danfred311
          Imagine a Hyundai badge on it. Then you can perhaps see it more clearly.
      Alexi
      • 1 Year Ago
      Yawn... Wake me up when the Germans actually start trying to make good EV's.
      Marcopolo
      • 1 Year Ago
      This should be a very encouraging announcement for all EV enthusiasts and supporters. Why ? Well the 'B' class Mercedes was originally designed to accommodate a EV drive-train. However, Daimler decided that there wasn't sufficient market for EV's and didn't pursue the project. The fact that Daimler are now releasing the B-Class Electric Drive, is an indication of how attitudes have changed towards EV technology, with both Auto-makers, and the motoring public. Daimler-Benz may be a bit late to the party, but are very welcome !
        JakeY
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Marcopolo
        "Well the 'B' class Mercedes was originally designed to accommodate a EV drive-train. " That's actually an unsubstantiated rumor. It's on the B-Class wiki page but with no source for the claim. The claim there is not that there was insufficient market for an electric B-Class (no one knows that given it was never offered for sale), but rather it talks about the electric A-Class as canceled before any car even hit the market because of the ZEV mandate being rescinded. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercedes-Benz_B-Class The B-Class was based on the A-class and the A-class was originally designed with a "sandwich" construction for safety reasons (engine and transmissions slide under floor in frontal crash): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercedes-Benz_A-Class And on that point, yes, the A-Class was planned to be Daimler's first entry into the California's ZEV program, but it was a conversion (much like this one), not with the electric drive as an original consideration. It just happened that the sandwich architecture was a good fit (like with the Smart ed and the iMIEV). http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/1995-01-26/topic/9501240535_1_mercedes-benz-mercedes-dealers-a-class-cars http://www.daimler.com/dccom/0-5-1391922-1-1401035-1-0-0-1402053-0-0-135-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0.html
          JakeY
          • 1 Year Ago
          @JakeY
          @Letstakeawalk "I think you're walking that path all by yourself. I fail to see where Marcopolo ever "specifically" referred to the 2005 generation, and I find it even harder to believe that you try to link his comment to a car designed nearly two decades ago." I can't believe I have to point this out the THIRD time and hopefully this does not fly over anyone's head this time. I wish I can bold this text but here goes with ALL CAPS: "HOWEVER, DAIMLER DECIDED THAT THERE WASN'T SUFFICIENT MARKET FOR EV'S, AND DIDN'T PURSUE THIS PROJECT. The fact that Daimler are now releasing the B-Class Electric Drive, is an indication of how attitudes have changed towards EV technology, with both Auto-makers, and the motoring public. " That's the specific part that specifies the gen 1 2005 W245 version of the B-Class (or rather the 1997 A-Class) has pointed out in this wiki quote under the design section of the W245 (which is likely where he got his information): "Having evolved from the even smaller A-Class, a car that was originally intended to have a battery-powered version that would meet California’s since-rescinded zero-emissions mandate. The sandwich floor concept—the structure of the car under the floor where the batteries were supposed to go—was retained in the B-Class." Marco's statements only makes sense assuming the 2011 W246 version you are talking about if Daimler ever canceled the B-Class E-Cell (which they NEVER did), but this article says there are continuing it under the Electric Drive name. Put another way, there's only two possibilities: 1) Marco is referring to the W246 as you are implying (which does not makes sense given the use of "originally") in which case his latter statement of Daimler cancelling the EV version of the project (the B-Class E-Cell) is false. 2) Marco is referring to the W245 as I am saying in which case his latter statement of Daimler cancelling the EV version of the project is false because of the things I have pointed out (there was never a EV version of the W245, and if you look back on the 1997 A-Class which the W245 was based on, it's designed that way for crash safety reasons, with the EV version being a compliance car). I stand by my point: Daimler never cancelled a electric version of the B-Class that was designed from the start to accommodate an EV drive-train (taking Marco's entire statement into context). Therefore there isn't the change in attitudes that Marco is talking about. In fact, if the ZEV mandate was not revived, there is little chance of Daimler offering this car for sale.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 1 Year Ago
          @JakeY
          "Well the 'B' class Mercedes was originally designed to accommodate a EV drive-train. " That's actually an unsubstantiated rumor." Consider it substantiated. Mercedes designed the B-class platform with the intent to stuff a variety of drive trains into it, including BEV and FCV. "The all-new Mercedes B-class is set to shake up car industry convention when it is launched late this year thanks to its ability to accommodate up to five different drivetrains in the same basic platform. As well as a conventional diesel and petrol engines, the Mercedes B-class will also be offered with pure battery power, with hydrogen fuel cell power, natural gas and as a range-extender with both a battery pack and three-cylinder engine/generator." http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/new-cars/mercs-radical-b-class "Packaging is helped in no small way by a B-Class platform designed to accommodate any number of alternative drivetrains and packaging. This includes a compartment under the rear bench seat affording space for the aforementioned energy accumulators. (Should you buy a conventionally powered B-Class, it can serve as a place to keep cans cool)." http://www.autotrader.com/research/article/auto-show/123805/mercedes-benz-b-class-e-cell-plus-concept-frankfurt-auto-show.jsp
          JakeY
          • 1 Year Ago
          @JakeY
          @Letstakeawalk "Consider it substantiated. Mercedes designed the B-class platform with the intent to stuff a variety of drive trains into it, including BEV and FCV." Marco (and the B-Class wiki article) is specifically talking about the 2005 gen 1 W245 version, which is the same version I'm talking about. And that version was based on the original 1997 A-Class's sandwich architecture, which was not designed with EVs in mind (but rather it was to be used as a compliance car much like the Smart and iMIEV, which also were not originally designed with EV use in mind). The links you gave are talking about the new 2011 W246 version (note the dates). Note how he worded his post: "Why ? Well the 'B' class Mercedes was originally designed to accommodate a EV drive-train. However, Daimler decided that there wasn't sufficient market for EV's and didn't pursue the project. The fact that Daimler are now releasing the B-Class Electric Drive, is an indication of how attitudes have changed towards EV technology, with both Auto-makers, and the motoring public. "
          Marcopolo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @JakeY
          @ JakeY Good heavens, what a fuss ! Ok, it's my fault as I have rolled two events into a continuum, little realizing that it would become such a point of dissension. In 2006-7, I visited a number of auto-manufacturers with a view to procure a special limited production run of EV gliders for a client. One of the vehicle maker's was Daimler-Benz. Without being too specific, I was shown a B-class " working" EV prototype, and was informed that this was one of a number of vehicles designed by Daimler over the years, which was designed specifically to be able to accommodate a number of different power trains, including electric. At that time the Daimler executives, expressed considerable doubts about the willingness of the market to accept EV's due to the high premium and immature battery technology. That was an assessment by Daimler-Benz, at that time. I'm simply relating the assessment of Daimler-Benz, as to whether that assessment was accurate, (or not), is not for me to say. Jake, huge corporations often have a number of products like which are the result of different factions within the corporation, pulling for different designs and technologies. It all depends which engineer or executive is telling the story. LTAW, is quite correct, my comment included the current model. I was attempting to link the current model's positive development, to past EV projects by Daimler-Benz, which did not result in production.
          JakeY
          • 1 Year Ago
          @JakeY
          @Letstakeawalk "Marco's statements only makes sense assuming the 2011 W246 version you are talking about if Daimler ever canceled the B-Class E-Cell (which they NEVER did), but this article says there are continuing it under the Electric Drive name." Actually, I take that back too. It still doesn't make any sense in this context, given that only gives a time frame of 2 years max (as the B-Class E-Cell was released in the same time frame the Leaf was released). It does not makes sense to say: "The fact that Daimler are now releasing the B-Class Electric Drive, is an indication of how attitudes have changed towards EV technology, with both Auto-makers, and the motoring public. " within only 2 years. It only makes sense if he's talking about the 1-2 decade time frame, which again points to the first gen B-Class.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 1 Year Ago
          @JakeY
          I think you're walking that path all by yourself. I fail to see where Marcopolo ever "specifically" referred to the 2005 generation, and I find it even harder to believe that you try to link his comment to a car designed nearly two decades ago. No doubt Marcopolo will clarify, but considering this article is about a current-gen B-Class, I would generally surmise that that's what he meant - this generation of B-Class was designed from the beginning to also have electrified drive trains. I stand by my point - which I believe was also Marcopolo's: The Mercedes B-Class platform was designed to accommodate a BEV platform. It is unfortunate that Mercedes didn't begin production of the BEV variant until nearly four years after FCV variants were available, but we should be very pleased that Mercedes is now releasing a battery-powered B-Class.
        RC
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Marcopolo
        I didn't know that. Also note how they have moved away from the F-cell/E-cell naming convention. That's indeed an encouraging sign.
      winc06
      • 1 Year Ago
      Why does it look like it was designed 10-12 years ago? It just screams cheap modification, i.e., decal label on the side of a IC engine car. It makes a MIEV look good.
        Spec
        • 1 Year Ago
        @winc06
        It kinda looks like the Leaf without the bug-eye headlights.
      Spec
      • 1 Year Ago
      Will stack up well compared to the i3. Now that is damning with faint praise.
      RC
      • 1 Year Ago
      I guess we will have to see how it compares to Tesla's blue star.
        danfred311
        • 1 Year Ago
        @RC
        It'll be cheaper than Tesla's. Tesla hasn't yet figured out that price also matters.
          RC
          • 1 Year Ago
          @danfred311
          Isn't that the whole point of the bluestar?
          stephenpace
          • 1 Year Ago
          @danfred311
          @danfred311: Tesla knows exactly what it is going to take to sell a high volume, low priced EV. They published their "master plan" back in 2006. Do you think that Tesla can just declare a $35k GenIII with current technology and it magically appears out of whole cloth? Accomplishing that feat takes a ton of hard work, and Tesla is only half way through the plan: 1. Build a low-volume high cost car (Roadster) - $100k 2. Use that money to build an medium volume 'medium' cost car (Model S/X) - target was $50k 3. Use that money to build an high-volume low cost car (Model E) - target was $35k The Model S went high on the 'medium' cost, but to be fair, you could have ordered the $50k version at the beginning (the 40 kWh version with no options) and some did, but only 4% ordered that battery size and it was discontinued. (Tesla supplied 60 kWh cars for 40 kWh orders and limited the range via software, allowing current and future owners to upgrade to the full 60 kWh later for a cost.) If the Model E looks and handles anywhere as well as the Model S, Tesla will sell a ton of them at $35k and even more at $60k nicely optioned.
      jeff
      • 1 Year Ago
      The only big question is price.... If priced like the i3 it has a chance. If priced like the tesla it will be a failure... My prediction is that it will start at $70,000....
        Joey
        • 1 Year Ago
        @jeff
        Did you even bother to read the article? It will be "extremely competitive" in price to the i3, meaning about $40K before tax incentives. Nowhere near $70K. And the B Class uses a Tesla-designed battery pack and motor. 125 miles is impressive range for the size of the pack (28kWh).
          Joeviocoe
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Joey
          I believe GM also thought of the ELR as "competitive" too.... I stopped believing hype long ago... now, you cannot take automaker's words for much of anything related to price. When the car is actually for sale, at a given price, I will believe THAT number.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Does the range figure sound a bit BS to anyone else? All the other EVs on the market are at around 30-35 kwh/100 miles. The i3 is at somewhere in the range of 22-27kwh/100 miles depending on whether the EPA range comes out at the 80 mile or 100 mile range they've floated. Seems plausible given that they tossed out almost 1000 pounds of weight with the carbon fiber structure. But how is MB going to pull 125 miles of range out of a 28kwh battery with a modified traditional steel B class chassis without any known weight savings? That equates to 22.4kwh/100 miles, which is AT LEAST 25% more efficient than any other EV on the road today. I call BS on the range figures unless someone can explain how this is possible.
      Craig
      • 1 Year Ago
      125 miles! Finally it sounds as if something besides the Tesla might get over 80 miles of range. Price it competitively and I am in.
        jeff
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Craig
        No price offered yet... I bet it is in the $70K+ Range...
        Marcopolo
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Craig
        @ Craig If you lived in the UK, you could buy a Liberty EV Range Rover, with a 200 + mile range :)
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Craig
        Well... so does the new generation Toyota RAV4 EV, but then its drivetrain is also built by Tesla. The EPA only give as an average of its 80% and 100% charge ranges at 103 miles but owners say they easily get 120-140 miles or more without trying too hard. On the other hand, Toyota isn't really interested in selling/making/supporting them beyond their obligation to meet California Air Resources Board (CARB) requirements.
        Spec
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Craig
        Uh . . . isn't this built with Tesla's technology?
          Dave
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Spec
          Doubtful. The first Smart EV (Smart is owned by Daimler) used Tesla tech. The new one uses all Daimler in-house tech.
          Koenigsegg
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Spec
          Yep, and the second smart ED used a Tesla battery only for testing purposes and it wasnt as efficient as they wanted it to be so from what they learned from the Tesla battery Daimler went on their own and built their own battery and it turned out better than the Tesla supplied battery so they ditched it and used their own, and its great i must say..... 60-90 miles depending on how i drive and note the longest i would drive on weekend of fun would be about 40 miles so i have plenty for that longer drive and my daily commute is only 12 miles plus a little driving around for fun smart ED is great
          Craig
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Spec
          Let's hope it is more reliable than the Rav 4 EV seems to be, also powered by Tesla.
          RoyEMunson
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Spec
          6000+ miles and we havent had any issues with our RAV4 EV... crosses fingers. My wife absolutely loves that car too. I think they sound unreliable because the few that do have issues are documented all over the RAV 4 EV forums, which is a good thing. The rest of us know what to look out for, and how to handle the issues. Besides, we can always buy Toyotas extended warranty before the factory warranty is up if we feel we need it, but at this point there is no reason to.
          Dave
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Spec
          "The wait time for the Smart ForTwo EV is more than nine months due to the slow ramp-up of the battery factory. Is the problem solved? We have reached the point where we can ramp up capacity and cover the demand. At the same time, the Smart ForTwo Electric Drive has been very successful. With a share of 40 percent for the first half of 2013, it is a clear market leader among all newly registered electric cars in Germany. Yet you are looking at all your options for your joint cell production in Kamenz, including a sale. It is a matter of putting cell production on a long-term basis without any time pressure. At the same time, economies of scale are very important. That is why we are talking to practically every battery manufacturer, from Korea to Japan all the way to the U.S. We have plenty of time since the current battery technology for the Smart will be the basis for the next generation. Incidentally, I am very happy that we launched our own cell production with Evonik. It has given us more expertise than any other automaker." Read more: http://www.autonews.com/article/20131011/ANE/310119999/mercedes-tech-boss-expects-b-class-ev-to-top-bmw-i3-others#ixzz2hfHVWj1V Follow us: @Automotive_News on Twitter | AutoNews on Facebook
          Letstakeawalk
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Spec
          Yes, the B-Class does use Tesla components. "Compare the [BMW] i3 with the B-Class – four-seater [versus] five-seater; 140-160km range [versus] 200km of range. A powerful drivetrain from Tesla inside." "Where Mercedes-Benz has partnered with Tesla for its electric motor and battery technology, BMW has designed and built its own electric motors for its models, which is something Weber also says doesn’t make the Mercedes-Benz strategy inferior. “To make it clear, we have a relatively wide range of alternatives available for our hybrids, and for the Smart we do the electric motor in cooperation with Bosch … Only for the B-Class we do Tesla inside, with a clear strategy to change only what is necessary to make it a Mercedes-Benz. “The clear strategy is to use Tesla, not to change Tesla. Brand-wise, Tesla is sexy, Tesla is an innovator, is a partner. We will help Tesla to survive … we use the hardware and we use the knowledge of our engineers to make this a Mercedes-Benz drivetrain.” But Weber added that it was decided early on that Daimler would not purchase Tesla outright." http://www.caradvice.com.au/251328/mercedes-benz-defends-electric-vehicle-strategy-versus-bmw-brand/
      • 1 Year Ago
      What I really want to know is what the huge air intake is for. It can only hurt their aerodynamics. I thought German autos were known for their engineering ?
      hnurcahya
      • 1 Year Ago
      Looks too big for a 30-35kwh battery vehicle. What is the price? When is it avail for test drive?
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