What do you charge for a vehicle you're going to lose money on? If you're Mercedes-Benz and the vehicle in question is the B-Class Electric Drive, you offer it for lease for just 399 euros ($498) a month with a down payment of 8,473 euros ($10,582). If Daimler was going to price it honestly, it seems, the number would have to be a lot higher.
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.
Mercedes-Benz is about to give Americans another choice of battery-powered vehicle. Offering more all-electric range than the Nissan Leaf or BMW i3, and with a smaller price tag than the Tesla Model S, the B-Class Electric Drive is officially set to arrive in the US this summer. Indeed, the first examples have begun rolling off the production line in Rastatt, Germany.
Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler has finally decided to go to its proverbial mothership to further expand its Car2go carsharing service in Europe. The German automaker has long used its itty-bitty Smart Fortwo vehicles for the program, but now it's kicking off a pilot program called Car2go Black that will share Mercedes-Benz B-Class models in Berlin and Hamburg.
Development of the Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive is moving along smartly since we first saw the thing in shimmering-blue-concept form at the 2012 Paris Motor Show. Now running about in prototype form, the B-Class ED is having some valuable cold-weather testing done in Sweden, as this box-fresh set of spy shots reveals.
The Mercedes-Benz B-Class is a promising, small family vehicle, but Car and Driver is reporting that the new B-Class is only coming to the U.S. as the zero-emission Electric Drive model. It would appear that if Mercedes does proceed with this plan, it will likely be positioned as a premium alternative to dedicated green family vehicles like Toyota Prius v and Ford C-Max.
Mercedes-Benz showed off a number of alternative fuel B-Class models at the 2012 Paris Motor Show, including the B200 Natural Gas Drive and this machine, the B-Class Electric Drive. Using a 100-kilowatt (134-horsepower) electric motor, the hatch can whir to a top speed of 93 miles per hour and boasts a range of around 124 miles, though presumably not at the same time.
We already knew the next-generation Mercedes-Benz B-Class would be getting an all-electric variant, but instead of wearing the E-Cell name, it shall be dubbed Electric Drive. As a matter of fact, all future electric models from Mercedes-Benz, Smart and AMG will carry the Electric Drive name.
Reports of Mercedes-Benz and Tesla building an electric A-Class together are nothing new. In fact, a fleet of 500 A-Class-based E-Cells was built for Europe. Most recently, a Tesla earnings report revealed that Tesla was still working on an all-electric powertrain for an unnamed EV for Daimler, the evolution of a deal that began when Daimler invested in the Silicon Valley automaker in 2009. The two automakers also worked together on the Smart ED.
With BMW readying a refreshed X1 crossover for the U.S. this fall, Mercedes-Benz is looking to play Burger King to the Bavarian automaker's McDonald's, launching its own kiddie-sized crossover next year. According to Car, the new model, formerly known as BLK, is now called GLA, thanks to the marque's new nomenclature.
We will now know the "baby CLS" – the small four-door "coupe" built on the MFA platform supporting the Mercedes-Benz A-Class (pictured above) and B-Class – as the CLA. It will debut at April's Beijing Motor Show, and it's just one of the five variants that Mercedes has planned for its MFA underpinnings.
Mercedes-Benz has been working on airbag technology for more than 40 years, but now it has other innovations, like Colliision Prevention, that work to keep airbags where everyone wants them: hidden. So Mercedes has made a TV spot for the 2012 B-Class that's also a letter to the airbag, saying somethiing to the effect of "I still love you, but..."
Mercedes-Benz has its heart set on boosting its U.S. sales by more than 20 percent, and Automotive News reports that mission may include plans for an extended range hybrid. Joachim Schmidt, head of global sales for Mercedes-Benz, said a special, U.S.-only B-Class plug-in hybrid with a range-extending electric motor may be headed to the States soon.
Whether its WiFi vs. ethernet or cell phones vs. land lines, it's pretty clear that wireless technology is more appealing to people than wired ones. The same will some day be true of plug-in cars, since companies like Rolls-Royce and Toyota, Nissan and Volvo are all trying to get energy from the grid to your car without a wire. Daimler wants to join the club.
It's still unclear whether or not the all-new Mercedes-Benz B-Class will be offered here in the United States (for reference, the old B-Class was available in Canada, meaning the small Benz hatch has seen plenty of time on North American shores), but these spy shots certainly give us one more reason to lust after the compact Merc. Nearly every model range in the automaker's lineup benefits from some sort of high-performance AMG variant, and it appears that Mercedes-Benz is working on something s
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