Richard Drew/Associated Press
Introduced on Wednesday, March 27: 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive compact.
2013 New York Auto Show
What is it? A fully electric version of the B-Class luxury compact.
Is it real? Very definitely.
What they said: “While others are still talking about electric cars, we are building them and selling them,” said Joachim Schmidt, executive vice president of Mercedes-Benz Cars. “We are truly committed to emissions-free driving, and providing this in a car that offers all the comfort, quality and safety of a Mercedes-Benz.”
What they didn’t say: While many automakers have canceled or pulled back on plans to produce electric vehicles, Mercedes-Benz may have passed the point of no return – especially financially – in terms of E.V. development and is going full speed ahead. The company’s E.V. line now comprises vehicles from the tiny Smart E.V. to the 750-horsepower SLS AMG Electric Drive.
What makes it tick? A power plant, developed in conjunction with Tesla, that generates 135 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque, and provides a range of 115 miles on a single charge. Mercedes promises recharging in less than four hours. 0-60? “Under 10 seconds,” Mr. Schmidt said.
How much? How soon? Available in the United States starting in early 2014, apparently through dealer order. Mr. Schmidt said orders would be accepted beginning this fall. No pricing was announced.
How’s it look? Not greatly different from the standard B-Class hatchback. The stubby B-Class styling as a whole, to the American eye, may take some getting used to.