Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive

BMW may be getting the lion's share of attention these days when it comes to electric or hybrid cars from Germany, but while the i3 and i8 cut a more distinct profile with their uniquely styling, Mercedes has got challengers of its own. Daimler will gladly sell you an E400 Hybrid if you're so inclined, a Smart Electric Drive if that's all you need, or an SLS AMG Electric Drive if you've got half a million to blow. But now Mercedes-Benz USA is bringing over the B-Class Electric Drive as well, and has announced details and pricing for the American market.

Joining the hydrogen-powered B-Class F-Cell, the new B-Class Electric Drive packs an electric motor developed by Tesla, good for 177 horsepower and 251 pound-feet of torque, and powered by a 28-kWH lithium-ion battery that takes two hours to charge from a 240v charger. That'll get you from 0-60 in an estimated 7.9 seconds, en route to a 100-mile-per-hour top speed or take you a good 85 miles between charges, all yours for $41,450.

That's just $100 more than BMW charges for a base i3 (sans on-board gasoline generator), but then the Bimmer packs less muscle: seven fewer horses, 67 fewer torques and a 22-kWh battery. The thing is, though, that while BMW hasn't released US-specific figures, by European standards it will outperform the B-Class ED in just about every metric. It'll accelerate faster, reaching 62 mph in 7.2 seconds, and while it tops out at only 93 mph, those seven miles will matter only on Germany's own Autobahn. The i3 will also travel farther on a single charge, running for 118 miles on the EU cycle.

The performance disparity likely comes down mostly to weight. Because the i3 is made largely of carbon fiber and the B-Class of heavy metal, the BMW weighs just 2,635 pounds while the B-Class Electric Drive is far heftier at 3,924 pounds, as confirmed in correspondence with MBUSA spokesman Christian Bokich. (That's also 660 pounds heavier than a diesel B-Class, but that model is not offered Stateside anyway.) The Mercedes is also larger, though, stretching 171.6 inches on a 106.3-inch wheelbase compared to the BMW's 157-inch length and 101-inch wheelbase. (Width and height are roughly comparable.) Whether that larger form is worth the penalty on the road is a matter each customer will have to decide for him or herself. Deliveries commence this summer.
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Locally emission-free, powerful and connected
Zero Emissions, Zero Compromises

April 28, 2014 - MONTVALE, NJ
The all-new 2014 B-Class Electric Drive features dynamic design, a premium interior and a powerful electric motor for emission-free mobility. This allows for lively, effortless driving pleasure over a real-world range of 85 miles (EPA)*. In addition, the B-Class Electric Drive is digitally networked. Thanks to its connectivity, it can be conveniently checked and configured via the internet. As the Mercedes-Benz among electric vehicles, the B-Class Electric Drive sets clear standards in terms of comfort, quality and safety for up to five occupants. The B-Class Electric Drive, bearing the unmistakable three-pointed star trademark, will first be launched in the US market in the summer of 2014.

The new B-Class Electric Drive surprises with an especially dynamic driving experience. It provides noticeably powerful acceleration, while gliding along quietly. The new electric Mercedes offers the driver and up to four passengers the familiar high standards of ride comfort in a high-class, spacious and precision-designed interior. The B-Class Electric Drive combines dynamic and driving pleasure with zero local emissions – in short: it delivers electric driving at premium level.

Powerful drive with brisk acceleration

The new Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive is based on the conventionally powered B-Class, for which the current generation has become a bestseller since being launched in many countries in 2011. Since the launch of the first B-Class version in 2005, Mercedes-Benz has seen customers taking delivery of over one million of these vehicles. As an especially versatile vehicle concept, the B-Class with its innovative electric drive now allows additional environmental friendly capabilities to Mercedes standards.

Mercedes-Benz has collaborated with TESLA Motors to develop the electric B-Class. The two companies share many years of cooperation in the field of electric mobility. The battery for the predecessor model of the smart fortwo electric drive, for instance, came from TESLA. For the B-Class Electric Drive, Mercedes-Benz is once again leveraging the extensive know-how available from the electric car pioneer and is using the TESLA drive system in its own vehicle.

Quiet and local emission-free driving is ensured by an electric motor generating 177 hp (132 kW). Typical for an electric drive system, the motor develops its maximum torque of 251 lb-ft (340 Newton meters) from the very first touch of the accelerator. This is approximately equivalent to the torque from a modern three-liter gasoline engine. The result is noticeably powerful acceleration from a standing start. The electrically driven B-Class drives from zero to 60 mph in 7.9 seconds. Effortless drivability and exhilarating driving pleasure with a high level of comfort are thus guaranteed in every situation.

The power supply to the electric drive is delivered via a highperformance lithium-ion battery, which is compactly and safely housed in the "Energy Space" in the underfloor of the vehicle. Such intelligent packaging allows the five-seater to retain the B-Class's familiar spaciousness in both its interior and its luggage compartment of 17.69-51.42 ft3.

Zero emissions also on longer journeys

In the interests of optimizing range, the top speed is electronically limited to 100 mph. Depending on driving cycle; the vehicle has a range of 85 miles (EPA). This permits emission-free driving not just in city traffic and on short journeys, but also over longer distances – such as a daily commute. The B-Class Electric Drive can be charged from any standard domestic power socket. For a range of 60 miles, the charging time at 240V in the United States is less than 2 hours. On the road, the electric drive itself makes its own contribution to a favorable energy balance by converting kinetic energy into electric current during coasting and braking, and feeds this energy into the battery.

Dynamic Mercedes-Benz design

Refined sportiness combined with aesthetic appeal – the B-Class Electric Drive features the self-assured and dynamic styling so typical of Mercedes with powerfully defined lines and finely crafted details. The front and rear sections express the width of the vehicle. This is ensured by the wide, prominent grille and the headlamps, which wrap round into the sides, as well as by the wide rear window, two-piece tail lights and large tailgate with deep sill. A dynamic look is created by door-sill panels and striking bumpers with bar-shaped LED daytime running lamps. The charge socket is inconspicuously installed behind the conventional fuel door.

Sporty interior with classy touches

The interior underscores the high standards of comfort typical of Mercedes-Benz. High-grade materials and finely textured surfaces, classy touches and precision workmanship make it clear that Mercedes-style electric drive is defined by high standards.

The three large round center air vents with their uniquely styled cruciform nozzles add a sporty flair that contributes to the overall emotive design idiom of the interior. Positioned above the air vents and seemingly free-floating is the screen for the telematics system – a state-of-the-art eye-catcher in the cockpit.

In terms of information and communication systems, the electric B-Class offers levels of comfort and functionality that is customary of any Mercedes-Benz. The standard equipment package includes a head unit with 5.8 in (14.7 cm) color display, twin tuner and MP3- Page 4 compatible CD player as well as USB port. The Becker® MAP PILOT is the standard navigation system while the COMAND multimedia system with internet access, navigation and LINGUATRONIC voice control is also optionally available.

The instrumentation of the B-Class Electric Drive is rounded off by functions that are specific to electric vehicles. One of the striking features is the power display in the right-hand circular instrument. The instrument pointer moves in a clockwise direction from the green zone towards the red zone, when full power is demanded by the driver. It drops back below the zero line when the vehicle is feeding energy into the battery through the recuperation feature.

Ideally networked: connected services

Thanks to its state-of-the-art technology, the B-Class Electric Drive is not just sustainable and agile, but also connected. For example, the Vehicle Homepage allows convenient remote interaction and remote configuration of the vehicle. The driver can use their PC or smartphone to conveniently access the vehicle via the internet. It is possible, for instance, to determine the current state of charge of the lithium-ion battery or show the vehicle's current range on a map. In addition, the planned route can be displayed, showing at a glance where the vehicle can be recharged along the way, should this prove necessary. The range of connected services is rounded off by a feature that allows individually timed pre-heating or cooling of the vehicle. This pre-entry climate control system makes the B-Class Electric Drive unique in its segment.

Big on safety

Mercedes-Benz applies its familiar, high safety standards to the BClass Electric Drive. Thanks to the innovative "Energy Space", the battery is safely accommodated in the underfloor of the vehicle, where it is ensured protection in the event of a crash. In addition, Mercedes-Benz has equipped this innovative electric car with the radar-based collision warning system COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST with adaptive Brake Assist as standard. This assistance system gives the driver a visual and audible warning of detected obstacles, prepares them for braking action and assists them with the braking process as the situation requires. In this way, it significantly reduces the danger of a rear-end collision. Additional cutting-edge driver assistance systems are also available, including Blind Spot Assist, Lane Keeping Assist and Active Parking Assist.

Electric drive made by Mercedes-Benz

Locally emission-free electric vehicles such as the new B-Class Electric Drive are a key part of Mercedes-Benz's strategy for sustainable mobility. The Stuttgart-based premium manufacturer is asserting its claim to leadership in this sector with electric vehicles that are fully suitable for everyday use. Mercedes-Benz aims to strengthen its position in future, not least with the new BClass Electric Drive, which will be available initially in the USA as of mid of 2014, before subsequently being launched in European markets.

Technical data*
Output 177 hp (132 kW)
Torque 251 lb-ft (340 Nm)
Range 85 miles (EPA)
Charging time for a range of 60 miles [US City] USA: under 2 h at 240V
Acceleration 0-60 mph 7.9 seconds (estimated)
Top speed 100 mph (160 km/h), electronically limited

*provisional figures


2014 B-Class Electric Drive Quick Reference Guide

Customer Availability & Pricing

- B-Class Electric Drive – Summer 2014
- Pricing: $41,450 USD

Standard Feature Highlights

- 28 kWh lithium-ion battery; 2 hour charging time for 60 miles w/ 240V charger
- mbrace2 – In-Vehicle Technology Suite
- 5.8" Display Screen and USB connection
- Becker MAP PILOT navigation system
- LED daytime running lights
- Powered front seats with three-position memory
- COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST with adaptive Brake Assist
- ATTENTION ASSIST
- ABS
- ESP
- Cruise Control
- Active Parking Assist
- Driver Kneebag
- Driver/front passenger windowbags

Optional Feature Highlights

- Blind Spot Assist
- Lane Keeping Assist
- PARKTRONIC w/ Advanced Parking Assist
- COMAND Multimedia System incl. 7" Display Screen

Model Positioning

- Zero Emissions, Zero Compromises
- The Mercedes-Benz of electric vehicles
- The latest offering in the most diverse portfolio of powertrain options

Main Competitor
- BMW i3
B-Class Electric Drive
MSRP $41,450 USD
Range 85 miles (est.)
Motor TESLA drive system with
28 kWh lithium-ion battery
Performance 177 hp
251 lb-ft of torque
2 hour charging time for 60 miles with
Level 2 Charger (40 Amp)
3.5 hour for a complete charge with
Level 2 Charger (40 Amp)
0-60 (sec.) 7.9 (est.)