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<em>Image Credit: Mercedes-Benz</em>

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1st Mercedes B-Class Electric Drives’ Now Coming Off The Production Line — US Launch Only Months Off

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). 🙂

Image Credit: Mercedes-Benz

Image Credit: Mercedes-Benz

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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Written By

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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