While critical of Tesla’s long-term game plan, Mercedes has no problem using Tesla parts in the Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive, which just began production. It’s not Tesla Model S competitor Mercedes needs, but it still outshines many competitor EVs in both range and luxury.
Built on the same production line as the standard Mercedes B-Class, the B-Class Electric packs more range and power than most of the competition. Rated at 124 miles per charge, the B-Class Electric can accelerate from 0 to 62 MPH in about 7.9 seconds, respectable but hardly blistering. Powering the B-Class is a lithium-ion battery pack and 132 kW (177 horsepower) electric motor, both of which were designed by Tesla, as was most of the rest of the drivetrain.
When it hits American shores, the B-Class, in both electric and gasoline flavors, will be the smallest Mercedes sold in the country. The B-Class Electric can add about 60 miles of driving in as little as 1.5 hours, though it won’t be Supercharger compatible. This compact luxury hatchback will be Mercedes entry into an increasingly crowded field of pure electric vehicles, though its most obvious target is the BMW i3, a car whose popularity surprised even its builders.
Funny how Mercedes can take a swipe at Tesla with one hand, while trying to bring it in for a bro-hug with the other.