Mercedes-Benz has unveiled the B-Class Electric Drive at the New York Auto Show equipped with a range of around 200 km. It will launch first in the USA in early 2014, making it the first battery-operated Mercedes EV in that part of the world.
The new B-Class Electric Drive is based on the petroleum-powered B-Class. Instead of a conventional IC engine, it is powered by a 100 kW electric motor with a maximum torque of 310 Nm, lending it a sub-10 second 0-100 km/h sprint time.
The motor is powered by a lithium-ion battery pack which is situated under the floor of the vehicle. Thanks to the special layout, the passenger and luggage space of the vehicle are not encroached.
The top speed is restricted to 160 km/h and it can be recharged at any standard household power socket. For a 100 km range, charging time, in the US, is under 2 hours at 240 V/40 A socket.
Like other EV's, the kinetic energy of the car during deceleration and braking is converted to electric current and fed into the battery.
Onboard features specific to the B Class Electric Drive includes a power display in the dial instrument which shows the direction of power transfer.
Through a mobile phone application, the driver can check the charge status, plan his route and get knowledge on the location of the recharging stations even without stepping into the car. Timed pre-heating or cooling of the cabin is also possible.
To improve safety, Mercedes has endowed the B Class with a radar-based collision warning system and an adaptive Brake Assist as standard. The car alerts the driver through visual and acoustic warning of obstacles to reduce the chance of a rear-end collision. Other typical Mercedes-Benz safety systems such as Blind Spot Assist, Lane Keeping Assist and Active Parking Assist are present on the B-Class Electric Drive.