Auto Show Coverage electric-b_1

Published on January 19th, 2014 | by Jo Borrás

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Electric Mercedes B Class Arrives in Detroit

electric-b_1

From a sporty, V12 S Class to a be-winged Smart car, Mercedes brought everything (and a little in-between) to the 2014 Detroit Auto Show, and parked it right across from Cadillac. If you don’t think that’s Mercedes making a deliberate statement, then you don’t know enough Germans, kids. Case in point: parked right across the hall from Cadillac’s Golden-girl getting ELR hybrid EV was this “pure” all-electric Mercedes-Benz.

First shown back in 2012, the electric Mercedes-Benz B Class was heralded as a “no-compromises” luxury EV that, unlike the Chevy Volt, didn’t have to sacrifice seating or interior room compared to its gas-powered siblings (the Volt rides on the Chevy Cruze’s global compact-vehicle platform). At the time, the B Class Electric Drive’s 134 hp electric motor was said to deliver a 200 km range (about 125 miles), and re-charging times of just over an hour on what has come to be called a “Supercharger”.

At the Detroit Auto Show, the Mercedes B Class Electric Drive showed up in a slick white paint job with metallic blue accents over what is, usually, chrome. That’s a feature it has with other “green” cars like the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and Honda Accord PHEV I tested last summer. The Benz, however, seems to offer a step-up, interior-wise, along with better headroom. Good stuff, in other words- and the electric Mercedes B Class was built to nicely occupy the space between the Nissan Leaf and the pricier Tesla Model S in the marketplace. That’s something the over-priced Cadillac ELR certainly can’t do, for now.

Mercedes didn’t announce any sort of pricing or on-sale date at NAIAS, but I’d expect to hear something about that after the Chicago show in February, but before the LA Show in the fall. Feel free to share your predictions, comments, or assertions that the Chevy Volt/Cadillac ELR twins aren’t hybrids in the comments, below.

 

Original content from Gas 2.




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About the Author

I've been involved in motorsports and tuning since 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the Important Media network. You can find me on Twitter, Skype (jo.borras) or Google+.



  • Markwbrooks

    Funny how Mercedes has not really delivered anything but hot air, it’s time for them to put it up for sale next to the volt , leaf and tesla or step back and admitt that they can’t make it work, or more to the point , they can’t make their dealers sell a solid state car that dosnt need service and parts like their current gas guzzlers

    • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

      I think Mercedes is plotting a different course, no? I mean, first off, Tesla is partially owned by Mercedes-Benz, and the two companies share components in other areas, besides drivetrain (there’s a reason the Model S’ bolt patterns, brakes, and rear suspension look an awful lot like the first-gen Mercedes CLS’).

      If Tesla start having trouble selling Model S’ (so far, they can’t keep up with demand), you’ll start to see more electrified Benzos, if only to keep the electric component factory rolling and that investment profitable for Daimler. Until then, Tesla is selling boatloads of Model S, and Mercedes had a record sales year in 2013. No need to change either formula.

      The B class, though? That’s different. That’s a shot across the BMW i3’s bow.

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