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.
Show full PR text
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.)


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 25 Comments
      FREEPAT75014
      • 7 Months Ago
      This 28KWH battery would have been enough IF Mercedes had added a Range Extender Generator in this car, to make it a sole car replacement "full purpose" solution that could do the local commutes 100% electric with one charge per day to few charges per week depending millage, and still take the family on vacations too. But as a full EV battery is too small, and this just adds up to the list of very limited 2nd-car-only EVs sold 4X the price of the ICE models that hold that market, where purchasers have very reduced millage hence recovery on Petrol savings is un-likely... Why again no range extender here ? Why only pursing second car market and not main car replacement ? I'm loosing faith on how serious the Germans are with EVs.
      Vinuuz
      • 7 Months Ago
      People are clamoring about the price. It is a Mercedes Benz, you don't expect everything to be 30k$. That said, Tesla can definitely get a lot of customer feedback for a 30 -40k USD midsize car that they plan to launch in the future. It should pack a 200 mile range and would definitely be a much better proposition to a larger number of buyers.
        Dave
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Vinuuz
        "It is a Mercedes Benz, you don't expect everything to be 30k$." Don't blame us. Blame Mercedes. They just started selling a nicer car than this in the USA for $30k. http://www.kbb.com/car-news/all-the-latest/has-the-new-30000-mercedes_benz-cla-earned-its-three_pointed-star/2000009753/
          Vinuuz
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Dave
          If you think the CLA is a nice car, good for you! Plus you will get a bargain basement mercedes for 30k with practically no space in the rear and a crappy ride. If you opt leather/sunroof etc - you are at 35k already. I would pick a 3 year old E class or a 2 year old C class for 30 - 35k than the CLA - any day.
          Dave
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Dave
          "I would pick a 3 year old E class or a 2 year old C class for 30 - 35k than the CLA - any day." Yes. But this blog post is about a B class, not an E class or C class.
      IBx27
      • 7 Months Ago
      Honestly, for the price, the Volt is a better buy. 85 miles is poor; the Volt gives you half but can drive another 300 miles between outlet charges.
        Aaron
        • 7 Months Ago
        @IBx27
        Like the RAV4 EV, the B-Class ED is supposed to have a "100% charge" feature which should go 104 miles on the EPA cycle. The Volt is a nice car, but many people want the purity of a 100% electric vehicle. I never want to put gas or change the oil in a car again. This B-Class ED has more cargo space than the Volt for those who need it.
          Joeviocoe
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Aaron
          The reason why a person would choose a 40 mile AER Hybrid like the volt over a pure BEV with 80 miles... is NOT for the sake of "purity"... but because the single drive train is much cheaper than having both. So much cheaper that the Leaf can have more than twice the battery but still cost less. If the the pure 80 mile BEV costs more than the 40 mile PHEV... purity be damned.
      paulwesterberg
      • 7 Months Ago
      It is too bad they only used 28kWh, 85 miles is the same as the Leaf which you can get for $28k. Sure the acceleration is better, but not 13 grand better. They should have used Tesla's Rav4 EV battery pack with 41kWh to provide 150miles of range.
        montoym
        • 7 Months Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        Then the price difference you're complaining about would be that much more. It's not like those extra kWh's are free.
          Jesse Gurr
          • 7 Months Ago
          @montoym
          13 kWh extra for say $300/kwh= $3900 so $45,000 or so. Still cheaper than a RAV4 EV with more range
      EVSUPERHERO
      • 7 Months Ago
      Wow these guys are really coming along, NOT! LMAO, My Yarises go 40 miles further and I have had them for five and a half years now. I am guessing it will be ten years before any OEM makes a car that will go further than my five and a half year old EV's for 41k dollars. They aren't even trying to give the public anything good, just more compliance conversions, well done Mercedes, NOT!
        2 wheeled menace
        • 7 Months Ago
        @EVSUPERHERO
        Lol, yeah that is funny to think of, that you have more range with a conversion done by a small company than a Mercedes that came out ~5 years later.
      Montie
      • 7 Months Ago
      This is also 1000% less ugly than an i3.
      ctsmith1066
      • 7 Months Ago
      But we still won't get the ICE B Class. smh
      VL00
      • 7 Months Ago
      Why can't they put this drivetrain in a better looking car? This thing makes my Volt look sexy
      Jai
      • 7 Months Ago
      I personally hate the styling of the i3 but this would look incredibly bland and dated next to an i3.
      timber
      • 7 Months Ago
      This car makes the i3 look like a great deal. And that is something weird...
      tenspeeder
      • 7 Months Ago
      Reminds me of an old Suzuki Aerio with a MBenz front grafted on it
      Feurig
      • 7 Months Ago
      Why oh WHY could this not be the A-class? I saw one of those in India and man is it gorgeous. I bet they wouldn't be able to sell enough of them if this were the A-class Electric Drive.
    • Load More Comments