Mercedes has (finally) officially announced America will be the first country in the world to start selling the B-Class Electric Drive. It is available now in California, Oregon, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Maine, and Rhode Island,. The rest of the country and the rest of the world will have to wait until later this year.
With an EPA-rated range of 87 miles, the B-Class Electric is right up there with the Nissan LEAF and the BMW i3, its two closest competitors. However, its total 84 MPGe rating is about 30 percent less then both of those other EVs. The culprit appears to be weight, with the B Class EV being significantly heavier than its rivals at 3,900 lbs, due to a much-larger battery and an optional “range-extender” mode. This adds an extra 17-miles of driving and charging capacity, but isn’t figured into the official EPA ratings (and it isn’t recommended for frequent usage).
The motor, rated at 177 hp, and the battery are supplied by Tesla. Mercedes guarantees the battery for 100,000-mile, and that includes roadside assistance. Mercedes says the battery should have at least 70 percent of its original capacity at the end of the warranty period. According to Autoblog, the B-Class interior is quiet and comfortable with lots of head, leg and shoulder room. Because the battery is located under the rear seat and not in the cargo area, there is ample room in the back to carry your stuff as well.
Base price is $41,150 plus $950 transportation charge. The car uses a J1772 charging connector, the same found on the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf, but not the Supercharger connector that Tesla uses on the Model S. A Level 2 home charger is not included in the price, but may be included in some lease programs.
My son in law, who has been lusting after an EV for some time now and lives in Rhode Island, is on his way to the local Mercedes dealer this very day. He will probably be there when the doors open to test drive the B-Class Electric Drive for himself.