The car, known as the B-Class E-Cell, is one of a handful of smaller models Mercedes-Benz will introduce to the U.S. during the next few years as it attempts to boost its domestic fleetwide fuel economy. Schmidt didn't say when the extended-range vehicle would debut in the U.S.
Mercedes-Benz showed off a version of the B-Class E-Cell at Frankfurt last year that included an electric motor and battery that could drive the car as far as 62 miles on electric power alone, and a three-cylinder 1.0-liter gas engine that acts as an on-board generator and an additional power source at higher speeds. The company said the car's powertrain supplied 136 horsepower and gave the car a top speed of 93 miles per hour and a total range of 373 miles.
In addition to the B-Class E-Cell, Mercedes-Benz plans on debuting an A-Class hatchback and a compact SUV in the U.S. by next year, Automobile News said, citing Schmidt. Mercedes-Benz also makes a hydrogen fuel-cell electric version of the B-Class, which has been available for lease in limited numbers in Southern California and is slated for a 2014 model year debut.