Mercedes-Benz sells small city cars in other parts of the world, models called the A-Class and the B-Class, each equipped with practical 5-door body styles. The fact that the B-Class is finally coming ashore in the United States, a country whose residents routinely dismiss hatchbacks as cheap little tin cans, is notable in and of itself. With the 2014 B-Class Electric Drive, Mercedes will find out if Americans are ready to accept smaller, more efficient models with premium price tags and three-pointed stars.
Now consider this model’s purely electric drivetrain, which launches in the U.S. before going on sale anywhere else in the world. If people buy the 2014 B-Class Electric Drive, it helps pave the way for the electrification of future Mercedes-Benz models, all the way up to the SLS AMG sports car.