Mercedes-Benz will build an all-electric version of its forthcoming B-Class. The compact MPV will be powered by technology sourced from Tesla Motors -- a Mercedes-Benz partner.
According to Autoweek, the electric B-Class will use battery packs, an electric motor and other relevant components supplied by the folks who brought us the Roadster. All of this will live inside a vehicle that can ferry up to five passengers in comfort and is capable of hauling large amounts of cardboard-bound goods from your local flat-packed furniture emporium.
So far, there's no word on what sort of battery capacity, range, power or recharging time we can expect from this electric B-Class. However, if released, we expect it will offer performance comparable to rival cars such as the Nissan Leaf, which delivers 100 miles of range per charge. Given Tesla's experience in this area, there's also every chance it could deliver range as high as 300 miles in line with what's offered by the top-spec Tesla Model S.
Mercedes-Benz' parent company Daimler has been dipping its toes into electric car waters for some time now so it's about time it made a proper splash. So far, its EV-related activities have been limited to creating concept vehicles like the SLS AMG E-Cell, Smart Electric Drive and the Smart ebike. It's also waxed lyrical about hydrogen-powered electric vehicles though it's never actually put its metaphorical reproductive organs on the line and built one.
We can't vouch for the accuracy of Autoweek's claims but given the company's previous dalliances, and the fact it has a 4.7 per cent stake in Tesla, we'll file this one under 'highly plausible' and start saving our pennies. More on this as we get it.