Daimler CEO says nobody is making money on EVs right now

B-Class ED Launches At 399 Euros A Month

2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive
  • 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive
  • 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive

  • 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive
  • 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive
  • 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive
  • 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive
  • 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive
  • 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive
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.

"Nobody today is making a battery-powered vehicle that's economically viable." – Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche

That's according to Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche, who spoke to reporters in Spain recently and said that, "You can reasonably say that nobody today is making a battery-powered vehicle that's economically viable in its own right. Manufacturers will not see a return within a reasonable time on the billions they're investing now." There are ways to make money in EVs, of course. Just ask Daimler, which recently sold its stake in Tesla for a cool $780 million.

Zetsche has some EV-critical company in executives like Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne, who has said his company loses over $10,000 on each Fiat 500E it sells. Other automakers – e.g., Tesla, Nissan – are much more positive about their financial bet on EVs, but no one is opening all their books to the public to prove this. Tesla, which worked with Mercedes on the B-Class ED, will have an earnings call with investors later today, so perhaps we'll learn something new in a few hours.

The B-Class ED lease deal is for 36 months, based on an MSRP of 39,151 euros ($48,895) in Europe, including the 19 percent VAT. You can read more in the press release below.
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Commercial release of Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive: Local emission-free driving from €399/month

Stuttgart, Nov 03, 2014

With its high-torque electric motor, the B-Class Electric Drive delivers lively and superior driving pleasure – with zero local emissions. The B-Class Electric Drive is now available to order, with deliveries set to start before the end of 2014. Prices start at €39,151[1]. The B-Class Electric Drive can be leased through the Mercedes-Benz Bank from €399 a month[2]. Further information on the full range of tailor-made leasing and financing offers as well as specific pricing examples are available at

Quiet and local emission-free driving is ensured by a 132 kW electric motor, which, as is typical of an electric drive, delivers its maximum torque of 340 Nm right from the start. The result is noticeably powerful acceleration from rest. For the standard sprint from zero to 100 km/h, the electrically powered B-Class requires only 7.9 seconds. Depending on whether the driver wishes to drive economically or with greater emphasis on comfort or sportiness, there is also a choice of three driving programs (Economy Plus, Economy and Sport).

The "ENERGY SPACE" modular body concept with lithium-ion battery in the underfloor makes the B-Class Electric Drive a fully fledged five-seater with a luggage capacity of 501 litres.

Host of individualisation options: the equipment lines

The B-Class Electric Drive is available in the equipment lines Style (€1,065.05), Urban (€1,707.65) and the exclusive Electric Art (€2,308.60). The Electric Art equipment line provides an especially dynamic and distinctive appearance. The two paintwork finishes available for this model are cirrus white and south sea blue. Further exterior features include 45.7 cm (18-inch) multi-spoke light-alloy wheels with highlights in south sea blue in conjunction with the cirrus white paint finish, or white highlights in conjunction with south sea blue paintwork. The louvres on the radiator grille are also painted white/blue, while the side of the vehicle sports the words "Electric Drive".

The stylishly coordinated interior includes the 3-spoke multifunction steering wheel in perforated leather with silver-chrome highlights. The seats and upper section of the dashboard are finished in ARTICO man-made leather, in each case with decorative stitching in blue. Further enhancement comes courtesy of silver-chrome highlights and sail-pattern silver trim. The final touch is added by floor mats that also feature contrasting topstitching in blue with the words "Electric Drive".

Further individualisation is possible with the Exclusive package (from €1,309). Highlights include heated front seats with 4-way lumbar support, which, like the multifunction steering wheel and gear lever, are finished in high-quality leather. The instrument panel and door centre panel are trimmed with matching ARTICO man-made leather. Leather seats are available in the following expressive colours: cranberry red, hazelnut brown and black. Silver-chrome design elements also help to create an exclusive ambience. Among the many other practical details are infra-red convenience closing and a 12 V socket in the rear.

Longer range if desired: additional optional extras

The optionally available RANGE PLUS (€892.50) allows the range (200 km) of the B-Class Electric Drive to be extended by up to 30 km. Pressing the RANGE PLUS button in the upper control panel extends the chargeable capacity of the battery the next time it is charged, i.e. more capacity is released. In addition to a longer range, RANGE PLUS also includes a heated windscreen, various insulation measures and heat-insulating, dark-tinted glass.

Especially effective energy recovery with a corresponding extension of the vehicle's range is made possible by the optional radar-based, regenerative braking system (€416.50). The system uses the data from the radar sensors of COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS to either increase or reduce to zero, as appropriate, the level of regeneration and therefore deceleration. The steering-wheel gearshift paddles included with this optional equipment item also enable the driver to switch between four different stages of regeneration - from coasting to high regeneration.

To protect pedestrians and cyclists, acoustic vehicle alerting (€119) generates a specific Mercedes-Benz sound up to a speed of 30 km/h.

The B-Class Electric Drive comes as standard with a charging cable for wallbox and public charging stations (faster charging, Mode 3). Alternatively, a four-metre-long charging cable for a standard household socket (Mode 2) is optionally available at no extra cost. For an extra €297.50, the customer can order a combination of a charging cable for a standard household socket (Mode 2) and a charging cable for wallbox and public charging stations (faster charging, Mode 3).

Each battery is certified by Mercedes-Benz as a guarantee of performance. This ensures that technical malfunctions within a period of eight years after initial delivery or registration, or up to a mileage of 100,000 kilometres, will be rectified by Mercedes-Benz.

Support from all sides: driver assistance systems

On making its debut, the B-Class redefined the standard of safety in the compact class with its numerous new driver assistance systems, some of them included as standard equipment. The B-Class Electric Drive, too, lives up to this pioneering role. The further-developed driver assistance systems COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS and ATTENTION ASSIST are included as standard. The B-Class Electric Drive is optionally available with bi-xenon lights (€1,005.55) instead of halogen lights. As an optional extra, customers can also combine this feature with the Intelligent Light System (ILS) (€1,066). ILS, already a familiar feature from other Mercedes-Benz model series, comprises bi-xenon headlamps with variable light distribution and dynamic range adjustment for country roads, motorways and heavy fog, Adaptive Highbeam Assist, Active Light function, LED daytime running lamps and headlamp cleaning system.

[1]Recommended retail price incl. 19% VAT

[2]Sample calculation for a private customer based on a purchase price of €39,151, a leasing period of 36 months, a total mileage of 30,000 kilometres and a one-off leasing payment of €8,473.31

Mercedes-Benz Information


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