According to Mercedes-Benz research and development chief Thomas Weber, the upcoming B-Class Electric Drive will be a strong competitor in the ever-growing electric vehicle market. In an exclusive interview with Automobilwoche, Weber spoke of MB’s electric vehicle future.
Automobilwoche got right to the point, stating that BMW is launching the i3 purpose built, carbon fiber electric vehicle and right now Daimler only has the Smart Electric Drive. Weber replied by saying that will “change next year when we bring out the full electric B-Class Electric Drive. In all criteria, it will be at least as competitive as our competitor’s models.”
Mercedes is bringing out the B-Class electric drive with “five full-fledged” seats and no battery pack imposing on trunk space. Weber stated the car will have a 200km range and not just on paper, but a range actually achievable in normal daily use.
As for price, Weber said the price isn’t set yet, but Mercedes wants to be “extremely competitive here, too.”
The B-Class Electric Drive has paddles on the steering wheel that allow the driver to select the level of brake regeneration. Using an electric motor with significantly more than 300 newton meters of power, the B-Class will accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 7.9 seconds. With a somewhat elevated stance and large 18 inch wheels, the B-class almost looks like a compact SUV.
Mercedes plans to launch the 100% electric B-Class Electric Drive in the US in the Spring of 2014. Europe is scheduled for Fall 2014.