Why the 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive Matters:
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.
What’s New for the 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive:
- First time Mercedes offers a B-Class in the U.S.
- 5-door, 5-passenger hatchback body style
- Electric drivetrain makes global debut
New 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive: Styling and Design
Imagine what might happen if a Mercedes R-Class spawned with a Toyota Matrix. Now paint it a color that could easily be called Jellybean Blue. That’s the 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive that debuted at the 2013 New York Auto Show. Of course, because it is a Mercedes, it wears a prominent star emblem in its grille, and is tricked-out with LED running lights, big wheels and tires, and other details that reflect what is likely to be a lofty price.
New 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive: What’s Under the Hood
The new B-Class Electric Drive is equipped with a 100-kW electric motor and a 28-kWh Lithium ion battery. Mercedes says the drivetrain produces 134 horsepower and 228 lb.-ft. of torque, accelerates to 60 mph in less than 10 seconds, and can be recharged to 50% battery capacity in 2 hours when using a 240-volt power outlet.
New 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive: Features and Technology
According to Mercedes, the new B-Class Electric Drive will have instrumentation specific to an electric vehicle, a 5.8-inch touchscreen radio, a navigation system, and COMAND Online technology that allows the owner to remotely check vehicle charge status and pre-condition the climate control system prior to driving. A Collision Prevention Assist system with an adaptive braking system is standard, and the automaker plans to offer an Active Park System, Lane Keeping Assist, and Blind Spot Assist as options.
New 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive: What Autobytel Thinks
Ford has found success with a vehicle similar to the B-Class Electric Drive. The Ford C-MAX combines a 5-door hatchback body style with upscale styling, equipment, and technology, and a choice between hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains. Ford’s electric vehicle, the Focus Electric, isn’t nearly as popular. Perhaps Mercedes might find that a plug-in powertrain solution is necessary to give consumers pure-electric driving when they want it, combined with limitless range when they need it.