Published on April 23rd, 2014 | by James Ayre5
1st Mercedes B-Class Electric Drives’ Now Coming Off The Production Line — US Launch Only Months Off
April 23rd, 2014 by James Ayre
The highly anticipated Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive is nearly here — the impressive battery-powered vehicle is set to debut in the US in only a few more months.
The first units have just begun to roll off the production line in Rastatt, Germany. Not a long wait now (unless you’re impatient, like me, that is).
For those wondering what the big deal is — the B-Class Electric Drive has a lot of buzz behind it for good reason. The wait is, arguably, quite worth it. The qualities that are responsible for the model’s buzz include: a greater all-electric range than the Nissan Leaf or BMW i3; a lower price than the Tesla Model S; and the classy looks that Mercedes is known for. Any surprise that there’s a lot of interest?
Autoblog Green provides some more details on the model:
Featuring drivetrain parts from Tesla Motors, the luxury compact hits all the performance parameters mentioned during its debut at last year’s New York Auto Show. For a refresher, that’s a single-charge range of 200 kilometers (124 miles) along with a 0-to-100 kilometer-per-hour (62 mile-per-hour) sprint in a respectable 7.9 seconds. These achievements comes courtesy of a 28-kWh lithium battery located in the floor of the passenger compartment and a 132-kW (177-horsepower) motor powering the front wheels. Torque specs for the unit seemed to have increased somewhat and are now given as 340 Newton meters (250.77 pound-feet). It boasts an 11-kW charger and can add as much as 62 miles of range to a deleted battery in an hour and a half. Sadly, it is not Supercharger compatible.
The B-Class Electric Drive, which is built on the same production line as the gasoline-powered version, is going to go on sale in Europe around the end of the year and will also come in a right-hand drive version for other markets in 2015. Although pricing has not yet been announced, Mercedes execs expect it to be quite competitive with the BMW i3.
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