By 2014, Mercedes-Benz would already start offering an electric version of its new B-class compact in the U.S., according to an insider. The EV will be built on a new front-wheel-drive platform and will utilize battery packs, electric motor and other parts provided by Tesla Motors.
Automobilwoche, a sibling publication of Automotive News, spoke to a Daimler source, who said that the company seeks to offer one more battery-powered unit to the market. An electric version of the Smart ForTwo is available from Daimler, which holds a 4.7% stake in Tesla. The battery packs are supplied by Tesla for the second-generation Smart EV.
In the fall, Daimler will start the production of the third-generation Smart EV, with the use of its own batteries and electric motor. Furthermore, the source said that it intends to offer a B-class hybrid in 2014, which will have a small internal combustion engine since the range-extender has been postponed. The source said that zero-emission vehicles get more favorable classifications and higher incentives than vehicles with a range extender.
This is a problem, particularly in the U.S. Mercedes was at the Frankfurt auto show to display its Concept B-class E-cell Plus, which came with a range extender. Executive have said that this vehicle will soon enter production.
The first model to be built on this platform is a five-door version of the B class. It started selling in Europe in 2011. Beginning next year, the U.S. will acquire at least four cars that will use the new platform. Sources in Germany said that these four vehicles are the B-class EV, A class, CLA four-door with coupe-styling and a crossover.
Reimagined athletic appeal combined with stunning appearance - the B-Class Electric Drive is yet another model with a confident and dynamic Mercedes style, with strong, aggressive lines and intricately designed details. Both the back and the front define the car's width, thanks to the broad, easily seen grille and headlights expanding to the car's sides, also the back window, twin back light cluster and the huge tailgate with a not-so-high boot sill. The sill panels at the side and stunning bumpers with LED daytime running lights which are bar-shaped show an active vibe. The socket for charging is properly installed at the back of the charging flap.
Athletic interior with prime details
The inside part of the vehicle provides an immense amount of comfort that is a signature feature of every Mercedes. Top-quality parts and well-built surfaces, fine details, and accurate finishing all reveal that electric driving is interpreted at a very high standard based on the principle of Mercedes-Benz.
The three huge circular air vents in the middle with their purposely built cross-form nozzles are athletic attributes that add to the dramatic style of the inside of the car. On top of the air vents is a monitor for the telematics system which seems as if it's floating - an innovative, head-turning characteristic of the cockpit.