B-Class Electric Drive Delayed… Quietly

What is it with automakers and deadlines? They unveil a new plug-in car, say it will be available to buy at some arbitrary point in the future…and then quietly delay the launch date when nobody is looking.

The B Class Electric Drive has been delayed until 2015 for many customers in the U.S.

The B Class Electric Drive has been delayed until 2015 for many customers in the U.S.

The list is a long one — and includes everyone from Nissan to Tesla — but now we can add Mercedes-Benz to the list for a second time after those eagle-eyed folks at InsideEvs noticed that the U.S. launch of the B Class Electric Drive has been pushed back from January next year to some time in the summer. Those outside of the usual EV launch market areas of will have to wait even longer, potentially until 2015.

This isn’t the first time Mercedes-Benz has pushed back the U.S. launch of a plug-in car. The Smart ForTwo Electric Drive, the first plug-in car from the Daimler family, has been on sale in select markets across the U.S. for some time, but its nationwide launch was recently pushed back from October 2013 to some time early next year.

An all-electric factory-built conversion of the Mercedes-Benz B Class popular in Europe, the B Class Electric Drive will be the first time the B Class has been sold in the U.S.  With an electric drivetrain and battery pack designed by Tesla Motors, it is slated to have an all-electric range of around 100 miles on the EPA cycle and reach 62 mph in just under 8 seconds.

Mercedes-Benz had originally planned the B Class Electric Drive to be a direct competitor to the soon-to-launch BMW i3, but with the delay in production, it may lose sales to its German rival.

But the question we’re still struggling with is why the B Class Electric Drive has been delayed?  At the moment, all signs point to a shortage of battery packs, which makes us wonder if delays in production will become more common as demand for electric battery packs increases.

What do you think? Leave us your thoughts in the Comments below.

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