B Class Electric Drive-03

There’s a new B-Class variant in town, and it’s battery powered. Shown as a concept at Paris 2012, the Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive made its debut at the 2013 New York Auto Show and will be be launched first in the USA at the beginning of 2014.

Emission-free drive power is provided by an electric motor generating more than 100 kW (134 hp), with max torque of 310 Nm available right from the first tap on the gas pedal, which Merc says roughly corresponds to the torque delivery of a modern 3.0L petrol engine. 0-100 km/h “requires considerably less than 10 seconds” while max speed is electronically limited to 160 km/h in the interests of operating range.

Speaking of range, it’s around 200 km. The B-Class Electric Drive can be recharged at any standard household power socket. In the USA, the charging time for a range of about 100 km is less than two hours at 240 V/40 A.

B Class Electric Drive-01

While the car is on the move, the system converts kinetic energy into electric current in deceleration mode and during braking, feeding this energy into the lithium-ion battery, which is located underfloor. Merc says that the EV retains the familiar, generous interior space and luggage space of the B-Class.

Nothing out of the ordinary so far, but Merc says that the electric B is fully networked. Remote checking and configuration is possible via the Vehicle Homepage on the Internet, where owners can also check the current charge status or to verify the car’s current range on a map online.

The planned route can also be displayed, immediately showing where the vehicle can be recharged along the way, if necessary. The range of connected services is rounded off with a pre-entry climate control option offering individually timed pre-heating or cooling, a very useful feature.