With a Tesla drivetrain and a base price of $41,450, the Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive will hit U.S. showrooms this summer. Production is already underway, and this BMW i3 competitor has plenty to recommend it. But are Mercedes customers ready to commit to a pure electric car?
Hey, if it worked for Tesla, it should work for Mercedes too, right? Boasting a range of 124 miles per charge in its home market, but just 85-miles in the U.S., the Mercedes B-Class Electric will also be eligible for the $7,500 Federal tax credit. That brings the base price down to under $35,000, and in places like California, additional rebates could make it even cheaper than the entry-level Mercedes CLA.
With 177 horsepower, Mercedes is claiming a 0 to 60 MPH sprint of 7.9 seconds, making it competitive with the BMW i3, a car Mercedes brass is aiming directly for. On paper, the B-Class Electric seems to have what it takes to be a viable zero emissions option for buyers.
I think it’s gonna flop. It’s too boring. It blends in. There’s nothing to tell the average schmoe on the street that its an electric vehicle. The Tesla Model S? You know that’s electric. The BMW i3? Nothing else in Bimmer’s lineup looks like it. Even the Nissan Leaf is distinguishable enough from its stable mate, the Versa, to warrant a second glance.
For a company so critical of Tesla, they might be setting themselves up for a rude awakening.
The Mercedes B-Class Electric is as “meh” looking as a Mercedes can be, Tesla drivetrain or not. The B-Class is all business, and no passion, born out of necessity rather than desire, like the couple that finally gives in to peer pressure and has a baby, just so everyone will stop bugging them about it. That kid might not have the brightest of futures, y’know?
But then again, maybe I’m wrong. After all, the Top Gear crew fell for the Mercedes SLS AMG Electric Drive, and maybe some of that fire bled into the B-Class. Personally though, even at this price point, the BMW i3 still seems like the no-brainer pick to me. Somebody want to convince me otherwise?