Well, that extra weight had to be felt somewhere. With Mercedes-Benz getting ready to start US sales of its B-Class Electric drive this summer, the big question was how well its range would stack up against other electric vehicles sold in the States. Turns out, the Benz is a bit of a juice hog.

Let's say up front that the 87-mile single-charge range of the Mercedes-Benz actually stacks up nicely against its competition, since that distance puts the new model right in line with the Nissan Leaf and BMW i3 (we'll ignore the Tesla Model S for a second, here). You can find the numbers at the US Department of Energy's FuelEconomy website.

As far as miles per gallon equivalent ratings, though, the Benz's steel frame makes it come up short, as it's about 1,300 pounds heavier than the carbon-fiber-body i3 and about 600 pounds heavier than the Leaf. The B-Class EV has a bigger battery than the i3 or the Leaf (36 kWh compared to 22 kWh for the i3 and 24 kWh for the Leaf) and that's one reason the car gets an 84 MPGe rating, which is about 26 percent less than the Leaf's and 32 percent less than the i3's. But at least the local utility companies will be happy.

Mercedes-Benz priced the 177-horsepower B-Class ED in April at $41,450, or $100 more than the i3. Check out Autoblog's First Drive impressions here.


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  • 35 Comments
      BipDBo
      • 5 Months Ago
      More expensive than some other lug-in offering like the Spark and Leaf, but this is not a Chevy or a Nissan econobox . As Benz go, this is one of the cheapest available.
      gslippy
      • 5 Months Ago
      "But at least the local utility companies will be happy" Not so. My Leaf costs about $20/month to operate, so this M-B would cost me about $28/month - not a big deal - and much cheaper than gasoline.
      thecommentator2013
      • 5 Months Ago
      I'll stick with GM's battery tech...
      RoyEMunson
      • 5 Months Ago
      EPA 87 means people will easily get 100 miles out of this thing. I like the design better than the i3 too, though the i3 is much more innovative.
      Peder Norby
      • 5 Months Ago
      lAs an i3 driver, I would say that the 1300 extra lbs of the Mercedes also shows up as you throw it into a corner, accelerate from 0-60, nimbleness, quickness, braking and more. The i3 is a faster, better handling and quicker to brake car. These driving attributes are more important to me. Using 1/3rd less electricity is also important as I make my own for both cars with solar PV. A solar PV system to power the i3 can be 1/3rd smaller for the same amount of miles driven.
        FordGo
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Peder Norby
        Isn't the MB a bigger vehicle, with more cargo capacity. I don't think they're in the same market niche, which is why I welcome the car. If the i3 fits your lifestyle/space needs of course it's the better choice. And, I would stress the lower energy usage as a high priority positive.
        DarylMc
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Peder Norby
        Hi Peder It's always nice to see you here with some info. Did you get the range extender version?
        DarylMc
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Peder Norby
        And what do you think of the i3. It would be interesting to hear from an owner.
        DarylMc
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Peder Norby
        Even after all the things I have read I'm still not sure how the i3 is put together. I've had some experience with plastic panels on a Mercedes van. You could shove your knee 6 inches into the mudguard and it would pop right out. Does the i3 have this type of panels on the exterior?
      electric-car-insider
      • 5 Months Ago
      Interesting to consider that if BMW had put this size battery in the i3, it would have about 132 miles range. (at about the same weight as the REx version). Or conversely, if the MB ED had lightweighting and aero like the i3, it could presumably have delivered the same. At that level, few drivers would give range a second thought in town. Add a quick charger, and you have an EV that could easily travel between metro areas.
        Spec
        • 5 Months Ago
        @electric-car-insider
        Yep. That is the car that is sorely missing from the EV market right now. A reasonably priced EV with a fast charger, a decent sized battery (say 32 to 40KWH), aerodynamic, and light such that it gets a range in the 120 to 150 range. The Toyota RAV4 is kinda close but it is expensive, not very aerodynamic, had some problems, very limited sales area, limited sales volume, and no DC fast-charger.
      FordGo
      • 5 Months Ago
      20 miles more then Leaf, and an MB, with German driving characteristics, and plenty of space, could replace a CUV. What's the problem?
        • 5 Months Ago
        @FordGo
        It's officially only 12 more miles than the Leaf - good maths man. Also MPGe and range for a battery that's FIFTY PERCENT bigger than the Leaf performing like this? That is a BIG problem! How can you overlook this? You sound butthurt. Just let this sink in: 50% bigger battery - 12 more miles.....
          JakeY
          • 5 Months Ago
          Your calculation is 87-75 (2013 Leaf). His calculation is 104 (extended range mode for B-Class) -84 (2014 Leaf) = 20 miles. So 50% bigger battery for 24% more range. What I don't get is the stressing over the battery size. As long as the efficiency isn't horrible (like some of the Chinese made EVs in the 50-60mpge range) and it provides more range, I don't think it's that big a deal even if it uses a bit more battery per mile.
      • 5 Months Ago
      Mercedes B class is a retrofit and not a fundamental shift as the i3. Electric cars represents an opportunity to rethink the way cars are designed and more importantly how they interact with everything around Stefan Amraly Lotus Energy Group
      purrpullberra
      • 5 Months Ago
      Probably going to be as successful as any other halfassed EV has been selling. But who really wants this over the i3 or any number of efficient city cars? A few hundred MB fans who only need a city car as a second or 3rd family car. Yawn.
      Spec
      • 5 Months Ago
      That MPGe number is awful. Aerodynamics matter. The car companies got so complacent during the 90's when gasoline was so cheap that they just stopped caring. And now it seems they still don't get the importance of it . . . ESPECIALLY for EVs wherein it is even more important . . . not for efficiency but for range/cost (batteries are expensive).
      EVSUPERHERO
      • 5 Months Ago
      I ordered ED in 2008, after paying 41k dollars. It took eight months to get ED. I brought it back to Oregon in Jan of 2009. Now I will always have ED. Sure my ED does not rise up to speed as quickly as before when I did not have ED, the trips are shorter as well. I do like it when my ED gets charged up. It can go for hours... For some reason my girl friend does not like me having ED.
        DarylMc
        • 5 Months Ago
        @EVSUPERHERO
        Sorry to hear that:) Yeah I get your point.
      Dave D
      • 5 Months Ago
      Oh. My. God. Nobody at Merc USA bothered to tell the home boys back in Stuttgart that "ED" was not a good moniker to put on a car for the US market? LMAO!!!
        Spec
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Dave D
        Meh . . . they've been using the moniker "Smart ED" for years now so I guess they didn't see it as a problem. But yeah, it is pretty stupid of them.
          DaveMart
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Spec
          Its just that some Americans take it personally.....
        BipDBo
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Dave D
        Their Ads will feature spokesman Bob Dole.
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