£32,000 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive Confirmed for 2015 Launch

Yesterday we told you about the official U.S. pricing for the 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive, an all-electric five-door compact MPV from the prestigious luxury German automaker. Today, we can confirm it will go on sale in the UK next year, priced at £32,000.

The Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive destined for the UK will carry the same 28 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack and Tesla-engineered drivetrain as its U.S. sibling, achieving the same 7.9 second 0-60 mph time and similar 85 miles of estimated range.

Why does the UK version cost so much more than the US?

Why does the UK version cost so much more than the US?

Where the two vehicles will differ however, is price.

At $41,450 before state and Federal incentives, the U.S. specification Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive is substantially cheaper than the UK specification model. After UK government grants — which total £5,000 — the B-Class Electric Drive will set you back a cool £27,000. That places the all-electric Benz at a distinct disadvantage to its nearest rival, the four-seat BMW i3, which retails for £30,680 before incentives.

Although that places the B-Class Electric Drive in between the entry-level all-electric i3 and its i3 REx range-extended sibling, this price discrepancy means that the B-Class ED will be far less appealing to British car buyers than it will be to those in the U.S.

Made on the same factory as the U.S. models, the B-Class Electric Drive for the UK could, say Autocar, have a higher standard specification than U.S. models, which would in part account for the difference in price.

The US version is priced on par with the BMW i3. Not so in the UK.

The US version is priced on par with the BMW i3. Not so in the UK.

But if we do a straight pound to dollar conversion we find out that the UK price — before purchase incentives but including purchase tax at twenty per cent — works out to $54,086, a good $12,636 more. Granted, the U.S. price doesn’t include the mandatory taxation and licensing fees applied in most states, nor the delivery fee, but that’s still a massive difference in price, especially considering the U.S. market Benz has to be shipped far further to reach its showroom.

At the current time, specification differences between the U.S. and European B-Class remain a mystery, but we’ll be doing all we can to figure out just what British buyers will get for that extra money that their U.S. brethren won’t. Or, in the case of identical specification, we’ll be asking why the prices are so wildly different.

Are you a British car buyer? Are you tempted by the B-Class Mercedes-Benz Electric Drive? Do you think it will compete in the marketplace with the BMW i3?

Leave your thoughts in the Comments below.

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