The always entertaining Bobby Llewellyn of Fully Charged loves getting into new EVs and taking them out for a spin. This time, he’s secured a Mercedes B250e. This is functionally the same car as my wife’s Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive, which we have had for 2 years now — it has simply taken on the new B250e moniker to fit more seamlessly into the standard Mercedes naming convention.
In addition to that, the B250e has a few added features that were not available when it was first launched in 2014 — namely, the addition of regen controls and regen paddles, which Bobby spends a bit of time on in his review. It’s worth a watch, as he adeptly walks through the initial user experience in the car and hits on quite a few of the unique pros and cons as only an experienced EV enthusiast could.
Thankfully, he spends a good chunk of time wailing on Mercedes-Benz for the lack of rapid charging. This was a gap in early EVs but has since been technically resolved. Ironically, as the electric drive hardware and batteries in the B250e were all built by Tesla, it is capable of fast charging … but the adapter for a CHAdeMO or CCS charger would have required a change to the exterior of the B-Class (larger fueling door), so they crippled it by only including a level 2 charger port (J1772 in the US).
Bobby doesn’t just bash the car, but also continually highlights just how amazing the car is, with a specific focus on the build quality. Mercedes-Benz is known for delivering high-end cars with top-notch build quality, and the B-Class is no exception. It’s quiet inside, the seats are comfortable, and it really just delivers a great driving experience — with a change to electric bits and bolts under the hood (yes, the charger is under there) instead.
Bobby has a bit of fun switching from Eco to Sport mode, which is a nice touch but ironically also serves to highlight the importance of traction control in the Tesla … as the lack of it in the Mercedes B250e allows the “instant torque” that EVs are lauded for to go straight to the ground, easily breaking traction in the B-Class. Having said that, I do love driving in Sport mode — even with the penalty of reduced range. Life is too short to drive slow 🙂 … just ask Zach. 😀
Bobby closes up his ~13 minute video review by flagging one of my other pet peeves with the car (the first being the lack of rapid charging) — the fact that you have to put the key in … and actually turn it … to “start” the car. My 2010 Toyota Prius let me keep my key fob in my pocket and push a button to turn it on, so going from that to a car from the high-end Mercedes brand that required me to actually take my key out and put it into the car — especially when there’s no real need to start the car — just seemed silly to me.
Beyond the functionality of the stock B250e, this review serves to highlight how just a few tweaks — add fast charging + larger battery — could really take tons of current-gen EVs and extend their lives by decades. This car is only being held back by a few very fixable limitations, as are many others. The future is such an exciting place to dream about … but at the same time, so many of the innovations we cover serve to remind us that at the same time … the future is now!
Thanks to Philip Waterhouse for sending this to us! The Mercedes B250e truly is a very well built car that would appeal to tons of customers out there … if only they knew about it. 🙂 Head on over to YouTube and subscribe to Fully Charged or just watch the embedded video above for the lowdown on the B250e.
By the way, if you’re looking to by a Tesla, feel free to use my referral link (here) to save $1,000, which is the only way to get a discount on a new Tesla.
All images by Kyle Field | CleanTechnica
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