Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive Quietly Pushed Back To Summer 2014, Won’t Be Nationwide Until 2015

NOV 18 2013 BY JAY COLE 16

Slippage.  The word best to describe what has been happening of late with plug-in offerings from Daimler is slippage.

smart ED Has Been Received Well By The Public, In Fact It Caused A Bit Of A Battery Supply Issue For Daimler

smart ED Has Been Received Well By The Public, In Fact It Caused A Bit Of A Battery Supply Issue For Daimler

First the company’s national roll-out of the smart ED moved quietly from September of 2013 to October of 2013, to sometime in 2014.

“…currently available for purchase, finance and lease in CA, CT, MA, MD, ME, NJ, NY, OR, RI. But don’t fret! We’ll be charging up everywhere in early 2014.”

Now the Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive (which we have often caught out testing in the US) is following in the footsteps of its diminutive 68 mile, 2 seat cousin from smart.

Mercedes B-Class ED Interior

Mercedes B-Class ED Interior

What once was an expected release date of January of 2014 for the electric Mercedes, then was “early 2014,” has now turned into a regional roll-out sometime in the summer of 2014; with the B-Class ED not being available nationally until much later in 2015.

“…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.”

So, not good for customers awaiting the 100 mile (EPA estimate) EV that seats 5 and can zip to 60 mph in about 7.9 seconds.  Although we have a feeling the good folks at BMW are happy that their i3 will now will arrival before their German rival’s plug-in offering.

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16 Comments on "Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive Quietly Pushed Back To Summer 2014, Won’t Be Nationwide Until 2015"

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As long as it gets here before my lease is up in early 2015, it’s still a contender.

I feel that way about a lot of EVs. Small delays are par for the course. But for me, 2015 is the critical year. Miss that, and it will be 2020 before I look to replace my other car.

Which gets me wondering – there will likely be an entire wave of EV drivers coming out of leases starting in 2015. Most of those people will likely be hooked on plugging in, and unwilling to go back to a non-plug-in car. I wonder if sales will see a considerable bump that year, and lease roll-overs add on top of new converters.

EV drivers coming off leases should be an important metric for the OEMs to be following. The first wave is 2014, myself included, coming off 3 year leases from 1st year LEAFs and Volts.

Additionally in 2012, Chevy put out a big promotion on 2 year Volt leases which moved some big numbers, so those leases will also be coming due late Summer/Fall 2014. Those two items combined will likely drive up 2014 sales assuming many people re-up for new leases and continue to take advantage of the rolled in tax credit.

This is good timing for the i3 to hit the market, but a big miss for Mercedes.

FWIW, I was aware of the first wave of leases next year, but I chose 2015 because it will be much larger. The Leaf/Volt weren’t available nationwide until 2012, and the sales show that. Also, in 2013, a lot of people started taking on 2-year leases. So you add up the 3-year leases from 2012 and the 2-year leases from 2015, and suddenly those coming off leases in 2014 looks like a trickle. It will definitely be a preview though, as I believe the vast majority will never want to go back to the pump.

I really hope Nissan is paying attention because all of those “conquest” sales they have accumulated with the Leaf could go right back out the door as more attractive options hit the market, and the Leaf v1.1 starts to grow old.

I know my dealer is paying attention, they snail mail me offers to bring my LEAF back for a great deal on an Altima lease. That is usually the week after they offer a 19.99 oil change on the LEAF. :-/

LOL — I’m glad to hear it’s not just Mitsubishi that sends me service notices that are irrelevant (and have typos!).

Did Tom M. get a chance to drive around in the Mercedes? If you’re reading this, Tom, what are your thoughts? Would you prefer the Mercedes or the i3 to replace your ActiveE?

smart ED is the best

“Perhaps the same extreme shortage of supply (up to 9 months worth) for the surprise hit smart ED, has impacted the company’s abilility to get the B-Class Electric Drive to market.”

Jay – you should know better. The Smart ED uses batteries from Li-Tec (Daimler-Evonik JV) while the B-Class uses a Tesla pack. How can the B-Class delay have anything to do with the Smart ED production constraint issues?

Darn good question as that is a known fact. I guess that was a brain cramp on my part? Let’s pretend I never said that! lol Thanks for clarifying my mistake!

To me, the Tesla Shareholder Letter was much more telling.

“The development program with Daimler is on track for full completion by early next year. Shortly thereafter, we anticipate the start of production to support market launch by Daimler in 2014.”

How could Daimler ship cars in January, or even “early 2014” if Tesla wasn’t starting production until about 2Q-2014? Now things look to be consistent with 2-3 month lead time between Tesla shipping drivetrain components from CA to Europe and Daimler shipping completed cars back to CA for sale.

I am very glad to see Mercedes is selling nationwide in the US. I hope at some point they are going to offer DC fast charging, and heat for front seats, back seats, and steering wheel.

Looks like a little jewel of a car.


It seems strange that even in 2014 and 2015 most electric cars including this one have not been able to break the 100 mile barrier. While this car here is a high end one it should at least have a 150 mile range on it.

You bring up a great point. For the price MB is probably going to “charge” for this vehicle, it should have at least 150 mile range. The B-Class is typically not an expensive vehicle in the MB lineup, but MB will tack on many thousands because of the EV drivetrain.

Couple of thoughts/questions…….

1. I really don’t know why it takes some manufacturers so long to pump out 100% EV’s. Its pathetic.

2. What is the kWH of the on board L2 charging port?

3. Why no QC charging port?

4. Is it true, no heated seats or heated steering wheel?

2. The car uses the on-board charger from Tesla just like the RAV4 EV. So, it can take up to 40A 240VAC in USA. That is nominally 9.6kW, but you can boost up the voltage if you must have the highest possible charge rate. Rumor has it that it can take 270VAC, so that would be 10.8kW

3. MB must not have wanted to pay to implement the QC on their own. It isn’t part of the package provided by Tesla.