Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive Enters Production – Job #1 Rolls Off The Line

9 months ago by Eric Loveday 43

Job #1 For Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive

Job #1 For Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive

Mercedes-Benz has announced that production of its B-Class Electric Drive is now officially underway at its Rastatt factory in Germany.

The US will be first up for B-Class Electric Drive sales.  Per Mercedes-Benz:

“…B-Class ED will be available starting summer 2014 at authorized Mercedes-Benz dealers in select states — CA, CT, MD, OR, NJ, NY, RI and VT — and then nationwide in early 2015.”

Later on down the road (end of 2014), B-Class Electric Drive sales will commence in Germany and select European markets.

Sometime next year, Mercedes-Benz will begin making right-hand-drive versions of the B-Class ED.

Of note is that Mercedes-Benz still insists that the B-Class ED has an estimated range of 124 miles.  However, no EPA rating is available at this time, so we’re sticking with our guess of approximately 90 miles of range.

Basic B Class ED specs:

  • 0 to 62 mph in 7.9 seconds
  • 28 kWh battery pack
  • Range ~ 90 miles
  • 177 hp
  • 250 pound feet of torque
  • Top speed 100 mph
  • Curb weight 3,858 pounds
  • 10 kW charging capability
  • Price tag “in the low $40s”
B-Class Electric Drive

B-Class Electric Drive

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43 responses to "Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive Enters Production – Job #1 Rolls Off The Line"

  1. Kevin says:

    iT will be interesting to see how reliable the car is since just like the Rav4 EV it has a Tesla powertrain. Not knocking tesla or Mercedes its just when you combine the two it doesnt always work.

    1. I agree it’s worth watching. But I will say it seems Mercedes has taken this much more seriously than Toyota did so I expect better results.

      Daimler has been thoroughly testing B-Class electric drive mules for a long time now and has even had engineers crisscross the US in them, stopping to charge every hour or so.

      Also, unlike Toyota this will indeed be available in all US states in 2015. Toyota is doing what it can to keep anyone from buying a RAV4 EV and taking it out of California.

      With proper engineering, mating a Tesla powertrain to another manufacturers vehicle will work just fine. The problem with the RAV4 EV, is Toyota’s heart isn’t into it and they really put the smallest effort into it that they could and still put it out there.

      1. See Through says:

        What is meant by powertrain for EV car? I can understand that term for gas mobiles – there is the engine, components, exhaust etc. But what exactly is the powertain for EV? motor? battery? location of battery?

        1. Unplugged says:

          EV powertrain means the battery, electric drive unit, including motor and transmission, differential, half-shaft, regenerative brakes, voltage converter, miscellaneous high voltage wiring includin input plug. I am sure I’m forgetting something.

          1. The components provided will include a DC to DC converter, DC to three phase AC inverter, battery, drive motor, reduction gear box, differential, battery cooling and heating (on Rav4 EV, there’s actually two separate DC powered heaters, one for the battery supplied by Tesla and one for the cabin provided by Toyota), gateway computer and telematics, onboard charger, and charge port.

            Mercedes likely provided in the electric powered brake booster, electric power steering, integration, testing, crash testing, regulatory compliance, etc.

  2. A///M5 says:

    if a car isnt good looking i just dont care about it

    1. Aaron says:

      You must be a really shallow person to require a nice-looking car to feel good about yourself. I feel sorry for you. Please get counseling.

      1. Anon says:

        I require a good looking car, to justify the expense of the purchase– not to appease my Ego.

        Pretty sure I’m not alone in that…

        Please try to be less judgmental against those who have a low tolerance for Fugly Vehicles; no matter what powertrain they use. Thanks. ;)

          1. James says:

            You do know there’s Edsel clubs and American Motors Pacer clubs, don’t you? In fact, I bet a web search could find a Pontiac Aztec club…

            Beauty in the eye of the beholder n’ all…

            1. Anon says:

              Certainly do.

              But as subjective as aesthetics may be to some; the beauty and design of an object also lends its own value to the item in question. Typically the more attractive said object is, the more expensive it tends to be. When one compares the intentionally less exciting styling of econo-class vehicles against higher end models– you can see how this directly applies to Electric Cars, too.

              Just because you likely bought a Leaf, does not mean everyone else has to put up with Eco-Punishment in the form of bizarre vehicular aesthetics and proportions, that only a select few seem to appreciate as fully as you do. ;)

      2. Unplugged says:

        Shallow? No, shallow is dating only beautiful women. Oops, that makes every rich guy in the universe shallow.

    2. John Hansen says:

      if its punctuation i just dont use it

  3. pjwood says:

    All the selected states are getting involved with ZEV policy, as a theme here.

    I agree they may be serious about producing this car, unlike doubts that might creep in over costs for things like CFRP (i3).

  4. Mark C says:

    The curb weight of a 2011/2012 Nissan Leaf is listed in Wikipedia as 3354# and for 2013 3291#. Since the B Class is listed as 3858#, the extra battery capacity versus the Leaf may not even make it equal to the Leaf in range. I understand their is far more than just weight involved, but an extra 500# of weight requires some extra energy to motivate it, more so up a grade.

    1. Alonso Perez says:

      That’s true but it would have little impact on constant speed range which is a factor of friction and drag, mostly drag at highway speeds.

      The Leaf has a CD of .28, while the B class has a CD of .26. The B class is slightly wider and taller, so its frontal area is roughly 4% larger. .26 * 1.04 = .27, so even with the greater area, the drag will be about 3.5% less than the Leaf.

      Assuming tire friction is similar, or even about 4% worse for the B class, pretty much the entire extra 4kwh advantage of the B class will go towards range at highway speeds.

      The higher curb weight will pull down range for the B class in stop and go driving, but here the low average speed, plus regen, will mean that the range will well exceed 100 miles.

      Also, the B class battery, having Tesla thermal management, will degrade much more slowly than the Leaf.

      So I think the value proposition of the B class is actually quite reasonable and way better than the i3. The 10kw charger is a bit disappointing though.

    2. MTN Ranger says:

      Not surprising. As a previous Mercedes owner, they are heavy vehicles. The B Class electric is like the anti-i3.

  5. Bloggin says:

    It has good stats.

    28kWh battery

    10kW onboard charger

    177 hp electric motor

    This would be like a C-MAX Electric.

  6. Since my two Tesla powered Rav4 EV’s can out accelerate this, drive a far longer range (142 miles at 65mph) and has more storage by a huge margin, it would be a hard sell for me.

    I sincerely hope Tesla and Daimler learned from the Rav4 program with its numerous issues. One common issue is the noisy motor / gear box / inverter assembly.

    It’s likely that this will be a JdeMO project car for us, where we will install the CHAdeMO DC quick charging port.

    Tony

    1. MTN Ranger says:

      Outside of CA, this isn’t an issue. Even in CA, they will be gone soon. However I agree, Daimler should have used a bigger battery pack in the 40kWh range.

    2. Bob Foss says:

      Unfortunately, Toyota is trying to limit its RAV4 Electric distribution to California so it is not available in the U.S. (main)…same thing with the Spark EV.

  7. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

    RAV4EV is quicker, has bigger battery, and doesn’t cost a whole lot more.

    Still, if this is available in 50 states instead of just CARBifornia, it could be worth a look.

    1. CARB state coalition – California, New York, Massachusetts, Oregon, Vermont, Maryland, Connecticut and Rhode Island.

      The eight states combined account for 23 percent of U.S. vehicle sales, according to California’s Air Resources Board.

      1. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

        Well if it ain’t available in Texas, then it don’t matter.

        1. Nick says:

          Got to tell Texas to get on board!

    2. Eric M says:

      Everybody loves to talk about how great the RAV4 is. Who cares? You can’t buy the thing outside CA. It’s useless to the rest of us. As far as I’m concerned, the RAV4 doesn’t exist.

      At least MB is going to release this nationwide.

      1. There are plenty of Rav4 EV’s outside of California. Toyota just does everything in their power to hinder you buying out of state to preserve their hard earned (and very expensive) CARB-ZEV credits.

  8. MrEnergyCzar says:

    It weighs about the same as a Volt…..

    1. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

      Is it made of wood?

  9. MDEV says:

    With less than 100 rated miles is set to fail. A Leaf with the higher capacity battery will kill MB B class.

    1. Mr. M says:

      I still think it will have more than 100 miles range. Mercedes said, that the whole 28 kWh are usable (if you press, “max-range” button before charging)

      So based on the leaf, which used around 21 kWh of it’s battery. The leaf has a range of 84 miles. This means 84/21 = 4mi/kWh.

      So if you use the full 28kWh*4mi/kWh = 112 miles. Its not 120 miles, but its really more than 100 miles range. An the drag coef at the mercedes is better than the leaf, as someone already pointed out. So driving faster should be more engergy efficient (than in the leaf).

      I like it.

  10. GSP says:

    Glad to see production has started. It really is a shame a nice car like that doesn’t have DC fast charging.

    GSP

    1. Daimler / Mercedes Benz has only becomes subject to CARB-ZEV mandates starting in 2015 model year, and this car will earn 3 credits each.

      Battery electric cars do not get credit for DC quick charging, so when manufacturers build these compliance cars, theres no incentive to include DC quick charging.

      With very rare exception, compliance cars don’t have DC quick charging. In contrast, non-compulsory battery electric car companies like Tesla and Mitsubishi include DC quick charging capability in ever car they produce.

      The difference is the former doesn’t want to make the car, and they are generally built at minimum quantities required by regulation at a huge financial loss to the company, and the latter really want you to buy a car and they intend to make money at it.

      Thats why Toyota, Honda, Fiat/Chrysler, Ford, and now Daimler all produce their token battery electric car without DC quick charging. All are subject to CARB-ZEV rules.

      Exceptions to this rule:

      GM has built about 100 Spark EV’s with DC quick charging. Their angle, of course, is to promote their unique brand of DC quick charger. Of course, these tiny numbers of cars are only sold in the regulatory compliance states of California and Oregon.

      Nissan is subject to CARB-ZEV, but they decided to go “all in” and build a world class car with DC quick charging. At well over 100,000 sold, and almost 4,000 charging stations around the world, they are by far the world leader. Yes, they want to sell you a car and they comply with CARB-ZEV, too!

      BMW, VW, Kia, and Mazda will all be coming to market with battery electrics in the USA, and virtually all will be offered with one type of DC quick charge port.

      1. Jay Cole says:

        Also of note, Daimler is easily covered for CARB-ZEV mandates both as Tony points out because of the later 2015 mandate…and also because they have already banked 1,326 smart ED (gen 3) sales in compliant states (even with thin inventories), with the national rollout slowly crawling out now.

        I think a lot of people forget they are actually already the 4th largest US BEV maker for CARB areas (5th overall) – just a whisker behind Toyota (1,525) and closing the gap for 3rd in CARB regions fast.

        Daimler really doesn’t need the B-Class ED at all for US compliance for CARB-ZEV…what they the B-class ED for is to hit fuel efficiency/emission regulations around the world to compensate for the rest of the Mercedes-Benz brand.

  11. vadik_veselovsky says:

    Newspapers say its range will at least be no worse than i3 or eGolf i.e. 200 km / 125 m.

    1. vadik_veselovsky says:

      And that’s with curb MB 1780 kg vs i3 1195 kg vs eGolf 1510 kg, unfortunately all numbers unsafe.

  12. AC says:

    Have they officially confirmed the size of the battery pack? And what will the US MSRP be?

    1. 28kWh. We just don’t know of that’s usable or advertised size.

      For example, the LEAF advertises 24kWh, however 21.3kWh is usable when the car is new and the battery is at 70F / 20C degrees.

      The Rav4 EV, with similar Tesla drivetrain to this Mercedes car, advertises 41.8kWh, and all of that is usable. The actual battery size is about 45kWh.

  13. Spec9 says:

    Low $40K range for an electric Mercedes Benz? Seems like a decent deal. The range is a bit disappointing but this is a welcome addition to the EV marketplace. I wish they could provide an option to pay another $5K to $10K to double the battery pack size.

    1. vadik_veselovsky says:

      These guys here offer strap on 10Kwh for 6300eur http://eauto.si/en/new-projects/

  14. Spec9 says:

    So no SAE-CCS? I guess Tesla doesn’t support it and Daimler was to lazy to implement it on their own?

    Uh Daimler, you are letting Tesla develop you an inferior EV because it has absolutely no quick-charge ability. Suckers.

    1. >>>> So no SAE-CCS? I guess Tesla doesn’t support it and Daimler was to lazy to implement it on their own? <<<<<

      It's exactly the same game Tesla and Toyota did with Rav4 EV. Not lazy, but obviously a determined and calculated move.

      With only GM and some German car makers actually offering CCS Combo1 or Combo2, you would think they "take one for the team" and offer CCS if for no other reason than solidarity behind their fledging standard.

      We are quickly learning that the "100% electrical compatibility" of Supercharger and CCS is not really true. The communications is significantly different between the two.

  15. Bob Foss says:

    Like Nissan, Mercedes does seem committed to the EV effort. GM, Ford, and Toyota have limited their EVs to a small population (one or two states). The Volt doesn’t satisfy those who want a pure EV if your aim is not having to be tied down to the baggage an engine entails—oil changes, coolant, spark plugs, water pumps, radiators, etc. etc. etc.