An early video review of the 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive is now available and we couldn't help but share, despite the fact that it's in German, which might not be incredibly useful to some people. Since we're here to help, we figured we'd translate the words and then you can just watch the pretty pictures in the video below with this information in mind. Here goes.

The narrator says that the battery pack and powertrain come from Tesla, and the batteries are hidden on the bottom of the car. Aside from a lightly changed front fascia, the dashboard has an EV charge/use needle and a battery state-of-charge indicator instead of a gas gauge. The car is quiet and has lots of power and there are three levels of regenerative brakes. Zero-100 kilometers per hour (62 miles per hour) takes 7.9 seconds thanks to a motor that offers 177 PS and 340 newton meters of torque. The top speed is an electronically limited 160 kph (99 mph). The range should be 200 kilometers (124 miles). No information on price yet, but it will be "competitive." The all-electric B-Class will be available (in Germany, at least) at the end of 2014. The EV is also coming to the US.



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  • 22 Comments
      aatheus
      • 3 Months Ago
      If the B-Class EV comes with fast charge support (SAE-CCS or CHAdeMO), my reaction can be summed up with "Shut up and take my money". It looks good, and the specs sound good. I don't need a race car or premium luxury car, but I do want the option to fill up my battery in 1/2hr.
      Technoir
      • 3 Months Ago
      They will produce only a very small number, guaranteed.
      paulwesterberg
      • 1 Year Ago
      Looks like a very nice EV, with 28kWh and with lighter weight and better aerodynamics than the Rav4 Ev it could make a claim for 2nd best BEV available for sale. I hope that Tesla's Model E is similar to this but with better looks, better aerodynamics and a larger battery capacity. This will probably only be available in small numbers in Europe and California for the next few years though.
      Mike
      • 3 Months Ago
      I'm not going to believe the 200km range until it has been EPA certified. Also, it cannot be "2nd best" without some form of quick charging. It may have better aero and lighter weight than RAV4 EV, but I'm pretty sure it won't have more EPA range.
        paulwesterberg
        • 3 Months Ago
        @Mike
        The 2014 Rav4 EV can hold 41.8 kWh and is listed by the EPA as 44kWh/100 miles and has a listed range of 103 miles. The most efficient EVs, the Scion iQ EV, and Chevrolet Spark EV, are rated at 28kWh/100 miles, so if this vehicle is as efficient it could be rated at 100 miles of range based on its 28kWh battery. But Tesla's drivetrains have never topped the efficiency charts as they are tuned more for exceptional performance so my guess is that this car gets rated closer to 90 miles of range by the EPA.
      ATC blog Afganistan
      • 1 Year Ago
      >>>Paul said, "I hope that Tesla's Model E is similar to this but with better looks, better aerodynamics and a larger battery capacity." <<<< So, in other words, nothing alike? I agree. I hope Model E has 50kWh battery minimum, looks on par with BMW 3 series or scaled down Model S, and of course the Model S fantastic aerodynamics. Also, 300km / 200 mile range with Supercharger capability all for a lower price that what BMW and Mercedes are each offering their lesser electric vehicles for. Yep, nothing like the B-Class.
        paulwesterberg
        • 3 Months Ago
        @ATC blog Afganistan
        I mean that I like the size of this B-class hatch. Small enough for use as a city car and big enough to offer some good utility. A mid-market car like this offers a lux interior but is not going to cannibalize high end sales. Also I like front wheel drive because we get snow here in the winter. I have heard that the model S does well in snow with its traction control despite being rwd, but I grew up driving fwd cars on snow so that's my preference.
      Spec
      • 1 Year Ago
      These adjustable regen systems sound like a great idea. I think the Germans have more faith in people knowing how to drive their cars than American and Japanese makers. I think if people use the regen systems well, you can probably extend the range a bit by recapturing more energy.
        lad
        • 3 Months Ago
        @Spec
        There are some, not me of course, who place their Leafs in neutral and coast down hills, then return the transmission to ECO as necessary to apply regen braking. They, not me of course, say this increases the range of the car markedly.
          Ele Truk
          • 3 Months Ago
          @lad
          Eh, I meant the vehicles WHEELS are always connected to the motor.
          Ele Truk
          • 3 Months Ago
          @lad
          Unlike gas vehicles, neutral does not take an EV out of gear. It merely removes current from going to the motor. I have a 1999 Ford Ranger EV and it does this. This is also true of reverse, the vehicles motor is always connected to the motor, it's merely the electricity that makes the difference. Reverse is merely spinning the motor the opposite direction. Neutral is not driving the motor at all. (I am speaking of production model AC drive vehicles, DC powered conversions are more typical in operation to ICE vehicles).
          Neil Blanchard
          • 3 Months Ago
          @lad
          Sure, doing this is fine in the Leaf and in the i MiEV, too. It does increase range. But having it coast without having to do anything; once it is in the right mode.
          Technoir
          • 3 Months Ago
          @lad
          Are you sure that is recommended?
        Neil Blanchard
        • 3 Months Ago
        @Spec
        It sounds like they are doing what they have on an option on the Smart ED. And I agree this is the best option for letting the driver decide how to drive. Easy free-wheel coasting will yield the longest range, because when the car coasts "automatically", you accelerate less to begin with, and you don't need to slow the car as much, and so you lose less energy. Regen is great, but needs to only be used when you need to slow down. Regen is much better than friction brakes, but both need to be minimized for ecodriving. The method called 'driving like you don't have brakes' still applies when you have regen available.
        paulwesterberg
        • 3 Months Ago
        @Spec
        I switch the regen on the fly in my leaf all the time and switch between eco and launch mode when I need a burst of speed. Paddle shifters seem like a nice way to make this switching modes easier.
      lad
      • 3 Months Ago
      Since Mercedes and Tesla are closely associated, I can't help wonder if this design includes elements of the future Tesla Model E.
      Marcopolo
      • 3 Months Ago
      Great News ! Another EV model released into the market, this time from Mercedes with some Tesla technology. After all these years of EV advocacy, it's exciting to finally see so many new models incorporating EV technology forever altering the automotive world.
      Samuel H
      • 1 Year Ago
      Mercedes C-Max EV.
      Joeviocoe
      • 3 Months Ago
      very good observation. Remember though.... 100 mile range on the UDDS (LA-4) is an ever present goal for EVs that are sold in the U.S. Really since California is the benchmark, and CARB sets the rules for ZEV credits. 90 mile range on the 5 cycle EPA test sounds about right. That puts them well over 100 on the LA-4. And is above many competitors
      jeff
      • 3 Months Ago
      This will all boil down to price. If it is in the Tesla Model S range, why bother.... If it is in the BMW i3 Range (say under $50K) it could be a big hit....
      Neil Blanchard
      • 3 Months Ago
      Is this car front wheel drive? If so, I want one even more. The size is great, the aero is good, the pack size is adequate - so if the price is reasonable, it will sell well.
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