Plain and simple, automakers need to offer a zero-emissions car in California if they wish to sell any of their other vehicles there, too. Accordingly, Fiat has the 500e, Honda has the Fit EV, and Mercedes-Benz will have the B-Class Electric Drive.
Fittingly, Mercedes has produced a very Hollywood trailer, that you can find below, to hype its BMW i3-fighting EV. While the details of the video are a bit laughable, like a mom and her kids saving a hurt bird, the video as a whole shows a very interesting car indeed.
The B-Class Electric Drive, unlike the BMW i3, is an electric variant of Mercedes mid-size hatch. This is much like the Smart ForTwo Electric Drive that makes a brief cameo in the film, which, too, is an electrified variant of a gasoline-powered car.
The front-wheel drive B-Class Electric Drive, which will go on sale in the U.S. sometime in the spring of 2014, is powered by a single electric motor that produces 134-horsepower (100-kiliowatt) and 228 pound-feet of torque. The EV MB is rated to go 115 miles on a single charge and reach 60 mph from a standstill in less than 10 seconds. No pricing has yet been announced for the American market. But expect to see it clock in around the mid-$40,000 mark.
Much like the Mercedes F-Cell we drove in California earlier this year, the B-Class Electric Drive has been cleverly repackaged and features a double-layer floor, which holds the onboard lithium-ion battery packs. This means that interior volume won’t suffer much with the conversion over to electric.
We hope to get some first driving impressions behind the wheel early next year so check back for more info the all-new Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive.