Mercedes-Benz gets ready to chase BMW with Tesla technology

Article by Christian Andrei, on November 5, 2014

As part of it pursuit of BMW in the luxury sales race, Mercedes-Benz is employing Tesla technology in its first mainstream electric car – the electric version of its B-class hatchback. The idea is simple and less costly -- Mercedes is just fitting in electric motor and battery into the B-class. This was a far cry from the approach BMW is taking, which is the costly approach by wrapping its EV offering with carbon fiber.

As for the Mercedes model, the only indications that it is an electric models are a number of small decals and the blue trim on the mirrors and front grille. By collaborating with Tesla, Mercedes could offer an electric vehicle endowed with advanced powertrain technology without having to invest billions of dollars on a system that few customer may want to buy.

Stefan Bratzel, director of the Center of Automotive Management at the University of Applied Sciences, remarked that the B-class electric is “a low-cost and low-risk solution for Daimler.” He noted that since the electric B class shares an assembly line with the gasoline and diesel versions, Mercedes doesn’t have to set a sales quota to cover its costs.

Daimler chief executive Dieter Zetsche remarked during a presentation of the electric B class that no carmaker today is building a battery-powered vehicle that is “economically viable in its own right.” He also quipped that EV makers will not see a return on the billions they are spending on the technology within a reasonable time.

Zetsche noted that the range, performance and interior space of the BMW i3 are very similar to those of the electric B class, although Daimler’s “effort was dramatically smaller.” BMW, however, won’t just let Mercedes have its way.

BMW counters the creating a new EV has advantages over re-fitting existing models. BMW spokesman Mathias Schmidt remarked that built-from-scratch EVs would have weight, drivability and range in ideal proportions. Mercedes will start selling the electric B class on Nov. 29, 2014 at price similar to the i3.

If you liked the article, share on:

Comments

Login or Create new account to add a comment!

Recommended

Your 2017 Volkswagen Golf Facelift could get as sporty looking as the Golf R with the new R-Line packages. But without the sporty run and the premium price. Set to...
by - January 17, 2017
Whether or not you’re a tech addict, you realize that the digital revolution is now moving at high speed. Before you know it, there’s already a new one on the...
by - January 17, 2017
We really couldn’t deny that quite a number of Audi customers and would-be-buyers are intently waiting for higher performance RS versions of the Audi A4 and A5. Of course, these...
by - January 17, 2017
The Chevrolet Cruze is coming to Australia. But it won’t be known as the Chevrolet Cruze. Instead, it will bear the Holden badge and get the Astra moniker. The 2017...
by - January 17, 2017
As expected, four years after the current generation of the BMW 4 Series was introduced in 2013 with the BMW 4 Series Coupe, the German premium carmaker is implementing a...
by - January 17, 2017
Facebook

Youtube Channel

Tip Us
Do you have a tip for us?
Did you film an important event?
Contact us
Newsletter
Subscribe to our newsletter!
Subscribe
Galleries