Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive Launches In US Today

4 months ago by Eric Loveday 33

B-Class Electric Drive On Display In New Jersey

B-Class Electric Drive On Display In New Jersey – Image Via Tom Moloughney

Today is the day when the Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive officially launches in the U.S.

Since the US is the world’s leading plug-in vehicle market, Mercedes-Benz choose wisely to launch the B-Class Electric Drive here first, meaning that today is actually the worldwide launch for the Tesla-powered pure electric B-Class.

With pricing starting at $41,450 and a range of up to 104 miles with the optional range package, we think Mercedes-Benz has a winner on its hands here.

Unfortunately, it won’t be immediately available in all 50 U.S. states (maybe it will never be offered nationwide).  Here’s the latest in regards to availability:

“2014 B-Class Electric Drive will be available at Mercedes-Benz dealers in CA, CT, ME, MD, MA, NJ, NY, OR, RI and VT. 50-state availability will be announced at a later date.”

InsideEVs is aware of at least a few B-Class Electric Drives that were order months ago and have been waiting at U.S. ports for rather quite a long time now.  It’s likely that there’s quite a bit of B-Class ED supply already in the US, meaning that first month sales (even though limited to only 2 weeks) could be relatively strong.

Long-term, we expect B-Class ED sales to be on the low side.  Somewhere in the neighborhood of a few hundred per month is what we’re hearing as the target set by M-B.  It’s unfortunate that Mercedes-Benz is treating the B-Class ED is something between a compliance EV and a real electric vehicle.  It’s our belief that If M-B truly got behind this EV, then it would be a hit and you’d see it easily outselling the BMW i3.

Anyways, we’re still thrilled to celebrate the arrival onto the U.S. market of one more plug-in vehicle.

B-Class Electric Drive On Display In New Jersey - Image Via Tom Moloughney

B-Class Electric Drive On Display In New Jersey – Image Via Tom Moloughney

B-Class Electric Drive On Display In New Jersey - Image Via Tom Moloughney

B-Class Electric Drive On Display In New Jersey – Image Via Tom Moloughney

B-Class Electric Drive On Display In New Jersey - Image Via Tom Moloughney

B-Class Electric Drive On Display In New Jersey – Image Via Tom Moloughney

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33 responses to "Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive Launches In US Today"

  1. EricP says:

    Eric, what makes you think it would outsell the i3? Performance is lower, efficiency is lower, less technology, way heavier, dated ordinary look. Moreover it has no fast charging option. I would never go for an EV that has no fast charging option…

    1. Sam says:

      Much better range. 36kwh battery. Larger more spacious car. Normal 4 doors ie no suicide.

    2. Anton Wahlman says:

      I’m not saying one car is better than the other. They are different. BMW has advantages in terms of DC charging and range-extender. The Mercedes has better EV range and a larger interior space. If you have to fit 5 people instead of 4, and more luggage…

    3. pjwood says:

      i3 doesn’t fast charge, unless you find a CCS stop. MB and Rav4 may have CHAdeMO retrofits, if Tony W. is successful in ’15. Which car would be the better QC option, then?

      Take/leave the styling of either, the MB has more space, normal tires (wet video?), more range. It would be easier to correct to one-color. Better winter range-preservation (winter tests should reveal). Standard electric memory seats…Lastly, at 1,000 pounds heavier, its 0-60 is w/in a second of i3.

      My concern remains having to remember to hit a “button” in some window of time, where you want the 104 miles of range the “next” time you use the car. I emailed MB to clarify there is no default setting. The glove box manual could probably also confirm.

      1. Taer54 says:

        Relying on unproven future retrofits is not a strong argument.

        MB/Tesla has produced a good vehicle but it is a compromised vechicle. We’ll see how the public responds to it.

        1. Aaron says:

          Relying on CCS stations is also not a good bet.

    4. Rav4 EV says:

      +1 on No fast charging sadness. I wouldn’t consider it. The Rav 4 EV is the last EV I will Own/Lease without fast charging (great EV otherwise). I can’t believe how far up their asses MB and Tesla have their heads to believe that an EV without fast charging is a viable product. Of course it will only sell a few hundred or less a month. Nothing like setting yourself up for failure and continuing to give EV’s a bad name with 5-10 hour charge times. I’m happy to have another EV on the Road, however, this product will continue to fuel the stereotype that EV’s are impractical and no fast charging is impractical for all but a few people. Elon/Tesla, it is disappointing that you are building this unviable product.

      1. JakeY says:

        Tesla builds to the specification of the Toyota and Daimler (not the other way around). So if they didn’t want to have it (which is likely given they mainly only want the cars to be compliance vehicles) then Tesla can’t really push it on them.

        Also Tesla would be unlikely to support CCS or CHAdeMO, so they probably would have to agree to use Tesla’s connector.

  2. MattB says:

    Yes – it is a real shame that it has no fast charge capability. From fielding questions on stands at Auto shows, people seem a little put off by the fact that it takes so long to recharge. The reality is that you can make it work, depending on your use case. But for accelerating as quickly as is possible through to mass adoption that quick charge has just got to be there.

  3. kdawg says:

    Surprised to see a prop-rod for the hood on a MB.

  4. sven says:

    No fast charge, no sale!

  5. Lou Grinzo says:

    I am intensely interested in how well this sells, even with its limited availability in the US.

    Since it’s a full BEV sans extender, there’s no chance/temptation for someone to buy it and then get lazy and run it on liquid fuel. I’m not sure how well that reality will play with the MB customer set.

    But then, at that price it’s not a “typical” MB, even though it’s not their cheapest model, so it might bring in some new customers.

    Still, the more models with plugs from more companies, the better.

  6. ELROY says:

    It is kind of strange the two Tesla joint projects with big batteries (RAV4 /B-Class) have no quick charging capabilities. So what if they can go over 100 miles, I can easily do that in my LEAF with a quick 12 minute stop at a common DCQC here in SoCal during my trip. I have gone two hundred miles in one morning with a few stops. Try that in one of these. You wont be doing that during your morning between breakfast and noon.

    1. pjwood says:

      ELROY, most don’t do 200 miles between “breakfast and noon”, unless they’re going to Mayberry.

      And weren’t you just in Germany? It was either you, or Elroy:
      http://insideevs.com/bmw-i8-bmw-updates-specs-0-60-mph-4-2-seconds/

  7. Max says:

    Why are the under-hoods of so many EVs stuffed full?

    There’s the same amount of space under the hood of a regular ICE B-Class.

    How did Tesla get this so right???

    1. TomArt says:

      I’ve wondered the same thing.

    2. Taser54 says:

      It’s not rocket science. Add 25 inches to the length of the B-class and you have the length of the Model S. The size of the Model S makes locating the drivetrain and power electronics simpler.

      1. Max says:

        I’d assume the Tesla’s components to be proportionally bigger than the B-Class’s, hence those 25 inches shouldn’t make that much of a difference.

        1. MikeM says:

          I think it has just as much to do with width.
          After all, the motor and power electronics sit side-by side between the rear wheels in a Tesla, not piled on top of each other in a cramped front compartment. (The charger sits somewhere else?)
          One more benefit of rear wheel drive.

      2. Mint says:

        25 inches makes the Model S only 15% longer.

        However, it has 2.5x the power (for both the inverter and the motor) and 2.5x the battery size.

        Your excuse does not compute.

    3. There is a lot of plumbing, too! The eGolf has a similar amount of hosing.

      Another question: where is the radiator in a Tesla Model S?

  8. Sam EV says:

    They still aren’t available at the dealer near me in Portland, OR. They said they are being shipped today and should reach stores w/in two weeks.

    1. pjwood says:

      You can just feel the mad rush.

  9. ffbj says:

    Wow, that carbon makes a big difference, as I would imagine that is where most of the weight is saved in the i3. Wonder what the range would be if that weight difference were minimal.
    Nice looking vehicle!
    Was this mainly built for compliance, or do they plan to market nation-wide?

  10. ffbj says:

    I meant carbon-fiber, and then I noticed, from the article the answer, well sort of an answer, to my question:
    “B-Class ED is something between a compliance EV and a real electric vehicle.”

  11. EV says:

    Not a car i would drive.

  12. Of note … “will be available at Mercedes-Benz dealers in CA, CT, ME, MD, MA, NJ, NY, OR, RI and VT. 50-state availability will be announced at a later date”.

    ZEV-states:
    CA, CT, MD, MA, NY, OR, RI and VT

    Non-ZEV-states:
    ME and NJ … others at later date.

    note: #3 seller in CA is 500e (after LEAF & Model S), which is available only in a few ZEV states. The i3 which has somewhat availability as B-Class is also offered in WA. (GA & WA are top volume PEV markets after CA, #2 & #3).

    1. evnow says:

      Your source that says ME & NJ are not ZEV states ? According to the below article, they are.

      http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1080855_why-washington-state-residents-could-lose-out-on-electric-cars

  13. Spec9 says:

    “2014 B-Class Electric Drive will be available at Mercedes-Benz dealers in CA, CT, ME, MD, MA, NJ, NY, OR, RI and VT.

    Blue state map.

  14. I am happy to see the Mercedes B-Class Electric go on sale, and I hope we start hearing some real world reports on range, etc. Does it have free-wheel coasting as part of the (optional?) switchable regen? How does the direct heating defroster work? Is the thermal insulation that is part of the “extra range” package make a noticeable difference?

    I was hoping that Mercedes would do a better job lowering the aero drag, which would yield a significantly longer range out of the larger pack they have. Which obviously would make it more desirable. I hope they keep improving it, without waiting for new model years.

    1. Mike I says:

      “Radar-Based Regenerative Braking with paddles” is one option package on this car. Description from the MBUSA.com site:
      “A first in an Electric Vehicle, radar-based technology monitors the speed of the vehicle ahead and its distance. As you adapt your driving speed to the flow of traffic, the system automatically adjusts the car’s regenerative braking to recuperate as much energy as possible, extending the driving range of the battery. A pair of paddles behind the upper steering-wheel spokes also lets you manually select from three recuperation levels, from gliding to maximum, with just a flick of your fingers.”

  15. Rich says:

    The lack of quick charge is a bummer. Let’s keep in mind this is a Tesla drive train. The batteries have fantastic longevity. The motor is AC, no magnets for heat to degrade. In addition, the car has some interesting tech.
    “Electric heating of the windshield glass offers quick defogging of the windshield, even on very cold or humid days. Its energy-efficient operation also helps to extend your driving range compared to using the climate control to clear the windshield.”
    Also see reply from Mike I above.

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