Daimler’s second mass-produced all-electric car, the 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive, has been given an official EPA range rating of 87 miles per charge.
Based on the existing gasoline Mercedes-Benz B-Class sold in Europe, the all-electric B-Class Electric Drive features a 132 kilowatt Tesla-engineered drivetrain and 28 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack. Despite that heritage, the B-Class Electric Drive isn’t quite as quick as Tesla’s famous Model S sedan. Then again, at 7.9 seconds from 0-62mph in Sport mode, the B-Class Electric Drive is still plenty fast enough to give most cars a run for their money.
In fact, the B-Class Electric Drive is fairly evenly matched in terms of performance and price with its closest competitor, the BMW i3 EV. While the BMW i3 manages the sprint to 62 mph a little more quickly than the B-Class, the B-Class’ 87 mile EPA-approved range just beats that of the 2014 BMW i3 EV.
When it comes to efficiency however, the much larger Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive is one of the most inefficient all-electric cars on the market today, thanks to its 3,900 pound curb weight. Despite that 28 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack, the B-Class Electric Drive has a fuel economy rating of just 84 MPGe, putting it well behind that of the Nissan LEAF’s 114 MPGe, the BMW i3’s market-leading 124 MGPe and even the 89 MPGe of the Tesla Model S P85.
In other words, while the B-Class Electric Drive will go further on a charge than either the Nissan LEAF or BMW i3, it will use substantially more electricity to do so than either. Given that the B-Class Electric Drive is a luxury segment family hatchback however, that’s unlikely to dissuade buyers from picking it over the similarly-priced, less-conventional BMW i3.
Ultimately, that’s the B-Class Electric-Drive’s real trump card. While the entry-level BMW i3 is $100 cheaper, the B-Class Electric Drive doesn’t have the i3’s quirky looks, boasts three — not two– rear seats, and packs more load carrying capability than BMW’s ultra-efficient carbon fibre reinforced plastic creation.
In short, it’s more conventional looking, and more likely to entice a conventional car buyer to a plug-in lifestyle — than the BMW i3.
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