Preview: Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive
By John Beltz Snyder
September 13, 2013
The Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive has been announced ahead of its official debut at the New York International Auto Show.
The B-Class Electric Drive is headed to US roads in the middle of next year, and will be the country’s first battery electric luxury car. Emissions-free driving is definitely not all about sacrifices, and indeed the B-Class EV will only seem more refined by the quietness an electric motor provides.
Mercedes-Benz estimates that the car has a range of more than 100 miles on a full charge, which should be plenty for most commuters in urban areas to get through their day. 60 miles worth of juice can be charged in under two hours. To make sure it can achieve a good range even with a heavy-footed driver behind the wheel, top speed is limited to 100 miles per hour. That doesn’t mean the electric B-Class will be slow.
Its electric motor provides 174 horsepower, plus all 250 pound-feet of torque are available from zero rpm. It’s no rocket ship, but with a 0-60 time of less than eight seconds, it’s no slouch, either.
The B-Class has the sort of fit and finish one comes to expect from a luxury brand like Mercedes. It also has standard features like a telematics display screen above the center console, Audio 20 with 5.8-inch screen, MP3/CD player with USB connection, and navigation. COMAND Online with internet access is also available as an option.
The electric B-Class is networked, so the owner can use a smartphone or computer to access the Vehicle Homepage for remote checkup and configuration. The driver can plan routes ahead of time based on vehicle range, and can find where along the route they can recharge the car. One can also begin heating or cooling the interior to a comfortable temperature before even getting inside the car.
The B-Class Electric Drive features Collision Prevention Assist, a radar-based safety feature, as standard. Blind Spot Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, and Active Park Assist are available as options.
And for once, we Americans will get the car before it is offered in Europe.
Scroll down for more details in the press release, below.
The New 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive
Zero emissions – with a star
September 10, 2013 - MONTVALE, NJ
The all-new 2014 model year Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive makes its world debut at the New York International Auto Show. The Electric Drive shows off a dynamic design, high-quality interior and a high-torque electric motor for completely emission-free driving. This makes for a lively drive with an estimated range of more than 100 miles (200 km). In addition, the B-Class Electric Drive is digitally networked. Thanks to its connectivity, it can be conveniently checked and configured via the internet. As a true Mercedes it also sets high standards in terms of comfort, quality and safety. The B-Class Electric Drive will have its global launch in the USA in mid-2014 and be the first luxury battery electric car from Mercedes-Benz in the market.
The 2014 B-Class Electric Drive surprises with a particularly dynamic driving experience, delivering decidedly brisk acceleration while gliding along the road in near perfect silence. The driver and passengers in this new electric Mercedes will enjoy the familiar comfort of a well designed, high-quality interior offering generous space. The B-Class Electric Drive offers driving pleasure with zero local emissions – in short, electric driving at the premium level.
Dr. Joachim Schmidt, member of the Mercedes-Benz Cars Board of Management responsible for Sales and Marketing: "The B-Class Electric Drive meets the wishes of many customers for emission-free driving without foregoing the hallmark attributes of a Mercedes-Benz, namely: safety, comfort and, of course, not to forget exhilarating driving pleasure."
Powerful and lively drive system
The new Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive is based on the conventionally powered B-Class, which has become a bestseller in many countries since its market debut in 2011. As a particularly versatile vehicle concept, the B-Class also allows environmentally friendly driving at the Mercedes level – with its innovative electric drive. In the USA, the vehicle will only be introduced with battery electric drive.
Quiet and locally emission-free drive power is provided by an electric motor with more than 174 hp (130 kW). Typically for an electric drive, the maximum torque of 250 lb.-ft. is available right from the first tap on the accelerator pedal – this roughly corresponds to the torque delivery of a modern gasoline engine with a displacement of 3.0 liters. This results in decidedly powerful acceleration from a standing start. For the standard sprint from 0 to 60 mph (100 km/h), the electric-powered B-Class requires less than eight seconds. This guarantees superior driving performance and highly dynamic, exhilarating driving pleasure in any situation.
The powerful lithium-ion battery is accommodated in the "Energy Space" in the vehicle's underfloor – both space-saving and safe. Thanks to this intelligent packaging, the five-seater retains the familiar, generous interior and luggage space of the B-Class.
Emission-free even over longer distances
The maximum speed is electronically limited to 100 mph (160 km/h) - in the interests of operating range. The range is more than 100 miles (200 kilometers), according to the respective driving cycle. This means that in addition to emission-free urban driving and short-range trips, longer journeys can also be undertaken without any problems, such as the distances covered on a daily basis by commuters. The battery of the B-Class Electric Drive can be recharged at any standard domestic power outlet. In the USA, the charging time for a range of about 60 miles (100 kilometers) is less than 2 hours at 240 V/40 A.
While the car is on the move, the electric drive itself contributes to a favorable energy balance by converting kinetic energy into electric current on the overrun and during braking, and feeds this energy into the battery (recuperation).
Dynamic Mercedes-Benz design
Refined sportiness together with visual appeal – the new B-Class Electric Drive is another example of the self-assured and dynamic Mercedes design, with powerful, tense lines and finely styled details. The front and rear sets the tone for the vehicle's width, with a wide, prominent front grille, headlamps extending into the vehicle sides, a wide rear window, two-piece tail lamps and a large tailgate with a low loading sill. The side sill panels and striking bumpers with bar-shaped LED daytime running lamps exude dynamic. The charging socket is inconspicuously installed behind the charging flap.
Sporty interior with premium details
The interior underscores the high comfort standards of Mercedes-Benz. Highquality materials and finely structured surfaces, premium details, and precise finishing, emphasize the fact that electric driving is defined at a very high level according to the philosophy of Mercedes-Benz. The three large, round air vents in the center with their distinctively designed cross-form nozzles are sporty features that contribute to the emotional design language of the interior. Above the air vents is the display screen for the telematics system which appears to be free-floating – a modern, eye-catching feature of the cockpit.
When it comes to information and communication systems, the B-Class Electric Drive offers convenience and outstanding functionality that is signature luxury typical of Mercedes-Benz. Standard onboard features include the Audio 20 with a 14.7 cm color screen, a twin tuner, an MP3-capable CD player and a USB connection. Navigation is provided by the Becker® MAP PILOT. The multimedia system COMAND Online with internet access, navigation and voice control is available as an optional extra.
Functions specific to electric vehicles have been added to the instrumentation of the B-Class Electric Drive. A power display in the dial instrument has been added on the right. Its needle rises in a clockwise direction from the green to the red area when power is being consumed, and drops below the zero line when the vehicle is feeding recuperative energy back into the battery.
Its modern technology ensures that the B-Class Electric Drive is not only sustainable (locally emission-free) and agile (because of its high torque and acceleration), but also fully networked. Remote check-up and remote configuration of the vehicle is conveniently possible via the Vehicle Homepage. The driver can easily access his vehicle through the internet, using a PC or smartphone. In this way, it is possible to check the current charge status of the lithium-ion battery or to verify the vehicle's current range on a map. The planned route can also be displayed, immediately showing whether and where the vehicle can be recharged along the way. The range of services for connectivity is rounded off with a pre-entry climate control option offering individually timed pre-heating or cooling. This advance air conditioning makes the B-Class Electric Drive the unrivalled benchmark in its segment.
Big on safety
Mercedes-Benz applies its familiar, high safety standards to the B-Class Electric Drive. Thanks to the innovative "Energy Space", the battery is safely accommodated under the floor for crash protection. In addition, Mercedes-Benz already equips this innovative electric car with the radar-based accident warning system COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST with adaptive Brake Assist as standard. This assistance system gives the driver a visual and acoustic warning of recognized obstacles, prepares him for braking action and Daimler Communications, assists him with the braking process as the situation requires. In this way it significantly reduces the danger of a rear-end collision. Additionally, more modern driver assistance systems are available – among them Blind Spot Assist, Lane Keeping Assist and Active Park Assist.
Electric driving made by Mercedes-Benz
Locally emission-free electric vehicles such as the new B-Class Electric Drive are a major part of the Mercedes-Benz strategy for sustainable mobility. The Stuttgart-based premium manufacturer is reasserting its claim to leadership in this sector with electric cars which are fully suitable for everyday use. These include the B-Class F-CELL, and the SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive (TBD for USA). The smart fortwo electric drive which launched last year in Europe received a positive response from customers. Since the middle of last year, much more than 1,000 vehicles have been produced and delivered. The all-new smart fortwo electric drive is available in U.S. stores since May 2013. The new B-Class Electric Drive will be available in the USA starting in 2014 and then the European launch will follow.
Preliminary Technical Data
more than 174 hp (130 kW)
100+ miles [US City], 200 km [NEFZ]
Charging time for a range of 60 miles [US City] (100 km [NEDC])
USA: 2 hours 40 A/240 V (ECE: 1.5 hours 400V)
Acceleration 0-60 mph
100 mph (160 km/h), electronically limited
Quick Reference Guide: 2014 B-Class Electric Drive:
- B-Class Electric Drive - mid-2014
- 2014 B-Class Electric Drive (174 hp/130 kW, 250 lb.-ft., 100+ mile range [city])
Standard Feature Highlights:
- 28 kWh lithium-ion battery
- Charging time range for 60 miles: 2
- 0-60 in less than 7.9 seconds
- COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST w/ Adaptive Brake Assist
- Audio 20 with 5.8’’ color screen
- MP3-capable CD player and USB
- Becker MAP PILOT
- LED daytime running lamp
Optional Feature Highlights:
- COMAND Online with internet access,
navigation and voice control
- Blind Spot Assist
- Lane Keeping Assist
- Active Parking Assist