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Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive priced at $41,450 for US; 85-mile range

29 April 2014

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The MY14 B-Class Electric Drive. Click to enlarge.

The Mercedes-Benz MY14 B-Class Electric Drive (earlier post)—the first electric offering for the brand in the United States—is priced at $41,450, excluding $925 destination and delivery. Customers may be eligible for federal tax credits (which run up to $7,500) or state/local tax credits. The MY14 B-Class Electric Vehicle will be available beginning in mid-July to dealers in California; Connecticut; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; New Jersey; New York; Oregon; Rhode Island; and Vermont. 50-state availability will be announced in 2015.

All B-Class Electric Drive vehicles will be covered by Battery Coverage Plus which includes 8-year, 100,000 mile battery coverage, coverage for defects, coverage for capacity, no cost annual maintenance, and Roadside Assistance.

The new Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive is based on the conventionally powered B-Class, for which the current generation has become a top seller since being launched in many countries in 2011. Since the launch of the first B-Class version in 2005, Mercedes-Benz sold more than 1 million units.

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Click to enlarge.

Mercedes-Benz has collaborated with Telsa Motors to develop the electric B-Class. The new Mercedes-Benz EV features a Tesla drive system equipped with an electric motor generating 177 hp (132 kW) and a 28 kWh lithium-ion battery. Maximum torque is 251 lb-ft (340 N·m)—approximately equivalent to the torque from a modern three-liter gasoline engine. The electrically driven B-Class accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 7.9 seconds.

In the interests of optimizing range, the top speed is electronically limited to 100 mph (161 km/h). Range is an estimated 85 miles (137 km).

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The B Class Electric Drive features a full regenerative mode (D-), normal drive (D), and coasting (D+) feature. The “D Auto” feature features radar-based recuperation, which adjusts speeds depending on traffic in front of the vehicle.

The lithium-ion battery is housed in the “Energy Space” in the underfloor of the vehicle. Charging time for 60 miles worth of electricity is 2 hours with a Level 2 Charger (40 Amp); a complete charge will take 3.5 hours.

In terms of information and communication systems, the electric B-Class offers customary Mercedes-Benz levels of comfort and functionality. The standard equipment package includes a head unit with 5.8 in (14.7 cm) color display, twin tuner and MP3-compatible CD player as well as USB port. The Becker MAP PILOT is the standard navigation system while the COMAND multimedia system with internet access, navigation and LINGUATRONIC voice control is also optionally available.

The instrumentation of the B-Class Electric Drive is rounded off by functions that are specific to electric vehicles. A Vehicle Homepage allows remote interaction and remote configuration of the vehicle. The driver can use his or her PC or smartphone to access the vehicle via the internet. It is possible, for example, to determine the current state of charge of the lithium-ion battery or show the vehicle’s current range on a map.

In addition, the planned route can be displayed, showing where the vehicle can be recharged along the way, should this prove necessary. The range of connected services is rounded off by a feature that allows individually timed pre-heating or cooling of the vehicle.

Mercedes-Benz has equipped this electric car with the radar-based collision warning system COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST with adaptive Brake Assist as standard. This assistance system gives the driver a visual and audible warning of detected obstacles, prepares them for braking action and assists them with the braking process as the situation requires. In this way, it significantly reduces the danger of a rear-end collision. Additional cutting-edge driver assistance systems are also available, including Blind Spot Assist, Lane Keeping Assist and Active Parking Assist.

April 29, 2014 in Electric (Battery) | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

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Comments

It takes 2 hours to charge 60 miles worth of electricity.

This limits it to constrained range use, such as commuting, normal local use, but not long runs.

They either need some Tesla fast charging, or an ICE swap deal that enables you to swap the E-Bclass for an ICE-Bclass a couple of times a year.

On the other hand, most people who could afford one of these could afford a second car.

The trick would be to offer the car swap deal knowing that most people will never take it.

I can see several levels of car swap:

Simple drive and swap - you drive to a garage at a prearranged point and swap the car.

Valet swap - someone drives the ICE to your house and does the swap (costs more).

Swap and rent - you agree to allow people to rent your car while you are away (costs less).

Could also add servicing and valeting the car as part of the package.

Problem might be the complexity of the multiple swap packages.
Advantage is you do not need a second car.

This 28KWH battery would have been enough IF Mercedes had added a Range Extender Generator in this car, to make it a sole car replacement "full purpose" solution that could do the local commutes 100% electric with one charge per day to few charges per week depending millage, and still take the family on vacations too. But for full EV, this just adds up to the list of very limited 2nd car only EVs sold 4X the price of the ICE models that hold that market, where purchasers have very reduced millage hence recovery on Petrol is un-likely... Why again no range extender here ? Why only pursing second car market and not main car replacement ? I'm loosing faith on how serious the Germans are with EVs.

The battery pack on this Mercedes is 2X to 3X too small.

Tesla dropped its 40 kWh back because it was too small.

An 85+ kWh pack is required for a large car.

Small, very light cars could performance well enough with 60 kWh battery pack or so.

Meanwhile, PHEVs with smaller (25 kWh pack?) + a range extender may be a better solution.

@Patrick,

I agree with you in theory, that, if an engine is added, the vehicle's can be driven cross-country. However, looking at the picture at the engine bay, where is the room for another ICE unit?

If the motor/invertor unit is reduced in half, to about 90 hp, there will be room for a small ICE unit, but then, you will have to reduce the battery size to about 10 kWh to reduce the weight of the battery AND correspondingly lighter chassis, frame and suspension and transmission, (300 lbs wt saving) in order to maintain reasonable performance without having to fire-up the ICE when needing a short burst of acceleration and contribute to pollution and engine wear.

Adding the ICE unit to the rear axle would take up valuable internal space and reduce the sale potential while ratcheting up costs, while adding probably 300-400 lbs more to the gross weight of the vehicle, from engine weight, transmission and differential weight, heavier frame and suspension and wheels to support the additional weight...Long-distance driving requires a lot more cargo space, for obvious reason, or a PHEV would not be suitable for cross-country vacationing!

@Harvey,

Why would you want to add hundreds of more pounds (300-500 lbs) and tens of thousands of USD cost to the BEV by doubling the battery size? 85 miles is more than enough for daily local driving. You can get more than 85 miles by using public charging spots that are sprouting out all around the cities. It only takes 2 hrs to fully charge the battery using 240V socket. Park and charge for 1 hr at business places, and you'll be good for another 40 miles!

It is more important to the growth of PEV's to lobby for mandated charging sockets at most businesses that have handicap parking signs, rather than asking for BEV or PHEV's with large battery packs. You wanna to keep the price of PEV's down to minimum to assure rapid growth of PEV's and avoiding escalation of Lithium prices by not heating up demands too much!

For out-of-town trips, use the money that you saved from having a BEV with smaller battery pack to rent a ICEV that you can drive carefree and park anywhere, or rent a trailerable genset similar to one that AC propulsion has developed.

Most people like more convenience, not less.

Compared with ICEVs, BEVs are not very convenient, they are sort of "maybe car". They require much more planning. When you suddenly need it, battery may be too low or empty. To recharge it, it may take several hours.
ICE car can stay parked for 2-3 months or longer, with say 10 litres of fuel, ready to be used any time. BEV would probably self discharge during that time.

For BEVs to become as convenient as ICEVs (or hybrids), we'd need batteries of very high density, say a battery size od a shoebox, up to 15 kgs, easily swappable, that provides 50-100 km of range.
Those 'batteries' may work on some unknown principle, to be discovered in the future.
Or some type of fuel cell that uses "energized water" or another liquid, that can be electrically charged/processed (overnight), and refilled at "fuel pumps".
Such things will probably exist in 30-100 years.
Hydrogen is even less convenient than batteries.

I tend to agree with Roger about PHEVs with 10 KWh battery pack, as a most reasonable choice for now and probably the coming decade (VW seems to think that way too).
Actually I'd define that battery size in terms of its weight. As energy density goes up, so would battery KWh rating in PHEVs.
To get 60-80 KW power from 10 KWh battery, supercaps could reduce the battery abuse, extend its life, and allow the use of batteries with higher energy density (less power density usually comes with more energy density).
Problem is that supercaps are still expensive (somebody mentioned $15,000/KWh). Supercap of about 200 Wh would be needed for acceleration and regen braking.
Their price need to come down to $5,000/KWh or less to be affordable for PHEVs up to $35,000.
Actually supercaps (paired w/ batts) could be used for both HEV and PHEV version of the same car model. The only difference would be battery size (1-2 kWh for HEV, 10 KWH for PHEV plus charger).
It would also increase resale value of used PHEVs. Instead of replacing all 10 KWh in used PHEV, one could put just 1-2 KWh battery and have a HEV car.

If you look at the previous post, you will see I predicted a price of over $40,000 a year ago...not bad for a guess :)

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