Mercedes B-Class Electric Coming to America

By EV World Editorial Staff

Germany luxury carmaker continues its experimentation with all-electric car technology in the new B-Class Electric Drive headed to America in 2014.

New York City -- Mercedes-Benz continues its exploration of the electric vehicle world with the rollout of its B-Class Electric Drive concept car at the 2013 New York Auto Show, simultaneously announcing it will introduce the all-electric car into the United States as early as 2014, making it the "first luxury battery electric car from Mercedes-Benz in the market."The car will launch in Europe after that.

As with most of the newest crop of e-drive vehicles, the B-Class ED will be network accessible and configurable via the Internet, though we're hoping their IT guys have taken sufficient precautions to prevent hackers from infecting or manipulating the car's systems.That would not be a good thing especially if it happens at 80 mph.

The popular selling B-Class in Europe and elsewhere will be powered by a 100 kW electric drive motor with a maximum torque of 310 Nm, giving it 0-60 mph acceleration less than 10 seconds. This level of torque is comparable to that delivered by a 3.0 liter gasoline engine.

It is being presumed that the battery pack -- believed to be rated at 28kWh based on an earlier prototype -- is being developedf byTesla Motors. We do know that it will mounted under the passenger floorboard in Mercedes refers to as the "Energy Space." This allows the car to comfortably seat five adults and keep the full trunk (boot) storage capacity of the ICE-age version.

The maximum speed of the car is electronically limited to 100 mph "in the interest of operating range," Mercedes explains. This should give the car a maximum range of around 115 miles (200km). Using AC Level II charging (204V/40A) in the United States, a 2-hour recharge session can restore 60 miles (100 km) of range, which the company claims will mean…

"longer journeys can also be undertaken without any problems – such as the distances covered on a daily basis by commuters going to work, for example."

As with most early EV launches, it is probably safe to assume sales and/or leases will be limited to specific geographic zones, starting with California and the greater New York City area. Pricing information has not been revealed.

The Stuttgart, Germany-based luxury carmaker reminds us that "local emission-free electric vehicles" are a "major part of the Mercedes-Benz strategy for sustainable mobility… reasserting its claim to leadership in this sector with electric vehicles which are fully suitable for everyday use." These include the A-Class E-CELL, the B-Class F-CELL, the Vito E-CELL van, and the SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive, as well as the smartED, of which more than 1,000 have been built and delivered worldwide, many as part of city carshare programs in both the US and Europe.

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Originally published: 28 Mar 2013


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