Mercedes-Benz electrified B Class will go on sale in the UK in the first half of 2015.
Mercedes-Benz is expanding its Electric Drive line up with the B-Class Electric Drive – a five-door, five-seater all-electric hatchback based on the current petrol and diesel models.
The B-Class Electric Drive differs mildly from its conventionally-fuelled counterparts, sporting a new front bumper and low-drag, aerodynamically efficient wheels.
Bigger changes can be found beneath the surface. The B-Class Electric Drive ditches combustion engines in favour of a 130kW front-mounted Tesla-produced electric motor that outputs a respectable 250lb-ft (340Nm) of torque. It also trades a fuel tank for a large 28kWh battery pack that provides 115 miles of range on one single charge, a little short of the 125 miles promised by the concept car.
Top speed is electronically limited to 100mph. 0 to 62mph takes 7.9 seconds.
Charging times are comparable to current market rivals, such as the BMW i3. Mercedes claims a 400v European socket will charge a 100km range (half of its maximum) in one and a half hours. Charging can be done from a standard UK domestic socket.
Standard equipment includes an ‘Audio 20’ infotainment system with a 5.8-inch display, MP3, USB connectivity and navigation, LED daytime running lights and an instrumentation display unique to the model.
There’s also Collision Prevention Assist with adaptive Brake Assist as standard, which uses a radar system to warn drivers of obstacles and, in the event of an emergency, applies the brakes as necessary. Active Park Assist, Lane Keeping Assist and Blind Spot Assist are optional extras.
As with the raft of electric vehicles (EVs) slowly infiltrating the market, plugging in a smartphone or mobile device allows you to check the battery level remotely and, depending on the journey length, where you can top-up the battery along the way.
A Mercedes spokesperson said the Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive will start from around £30,000 excluding the £5,000 plug-in car grant. It will go on sale in the US first later 2014 and then Europe.