Overshadowed by the launch of BMW’s futuristic i3 electric vehicle, the Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive is determined to turn the tide when it launches in the US market in the summer of 2014. To that end, the car comes with a promise of comfort, convenience, and excellent efficiency.
Developed in collaboration with Tesla Motors, the 2014 Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive doesn’t look anything as odd – or fancy, depending on your view – as the BMW i3. It looks, in fact, like a normal B-Class. But under the bonnet the car features an electric motor generating 177 hp (132 kW) and maximum torque of 251 lb-ft (340 Newton meters).
That is pretty much what you get from a potent four-cylinder turbocharged engine these days, except the B-Class ED is quiet and emission-free. Performance-wise, the car can go from 0 to 60 mph in 7.9 seconds, which is good, and it has a real-world range of 85 miles, which is not very good.
On the other hand, there aren’t that many electric cars around these days to offer such performance and such practicality at the same time. Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive comes with a large trunk with a flat floor, and it is packed full of features. It is a Mercedes-Benz after all.
The standard equipment package for the B-Class ED includes a head unit with 5.8 in (14.7 cm) color display, twin tuner and MP3- Page 4 compatible CD player as well as USB port. The Becker MAP PILOT is the standard navigation system while the COMAND multimedia system with internet access, navigation and LINGUATRONIC voice control is also optionally available.
As for the pricing, the 2014 Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive starts at $41,450.