Related Articles Related Articles

Tapping Tesla To Answer the i3

Last year, Mercedes-Benz showed off a few European-spec B-Class models with alternative powertrains, particularly the B-Class Electric Drive with a range extending engine and the purely electric B-Class Electric Drive. It is the latter that we got a ride in during a recent trip to Germany and the one that is coming to the US next year – before it goes to Europe – to help crack open the market for premium compact electric cars.

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.

Despite the fact that Daimler's press release doesn't mention this company by name, we have to assume that the 28-kWh lithium-ion battery in the upcoming 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive comes from Tesla Motors. What Daimler is being much more clear about is that the B-Class EV is coming to the US earlier than you might expect, in early 2014. The car has a range of "around 115 miles" and is being unveiled today at the New York Auto Show.