|Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive. Click to enlarge.|
Mercedes-Benz staged the world premiere of the production battery-electric 2014 B-Class Electric Drive at the New York International Auto Show; a concept version had appeared last year at the Paris Motor Show. (Earlier post.)
The B-Class Electric Drive is equipped with a 100 kW electric motor with 310 N·m (221 lb-ft) of torque, with a range of 115 miles (185 km). Acceleration from 0-60 mph is under 10 s, and the top speed is 100 mph (160 km/h). The powertrain was developed in collaboration with Tesla Motors, said Dr. Joachim Schmidt, Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing Mercedes-Benz Cars, during the launch presentation.
The B-Class Electric Drive will be launched first in the USA at the beginning of 2014, where it will be the first luxury battery-electric car from Mercedes-Benz in the market, and also the first instance of the popular B-class in the US market. (The new version of the smart electric drive will be on sale 1 May.)
The B-Class Electric Drive can be recharged at any standard household power socket. In the USA, the charging time for a range of about 60 miles (100 km) is less than 2 hours at 240 V/40 A. Recuperation in deceleration mode and during braking contributes to charging during operation.
Remote checking and remote configuration of the vehicle are possible via the Vehicle Homepage. The driver can easily access the vehicle via the internet, using a PC or smartphone. In this way, it is possible to check the current charge status of the lithium-ion battery or to verify the vehicle's current range on a map. The planned route can also be displayed, immediately showing where the vehicle can be recharged along the way, if necessary. The range of connected services is rounded off with a pre-entry climate control option offering individually timed pre-heating or cooling. This pre-entry climate control system makes the B-Class Electric Drive unique in its segment.
The battery is safely accommodated in the underfloor of the vehicle for crash protection (the “Energy Space”). In addition, 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 acoustic warning of recognized obstacles, prepares him for braking action and assists him with the braking process as the situation requires. In this way it significantly reduces the danger of a rear-end collision.
Additional, more up-to-date driver assistance systems are also available—among them Blind Spot Assist, Lane Keeping Assist and Active Parking Assist.