From the latest interview with Mercedes-Benz USA spokesman Rob Moran by Automotive News, we learned that the company is letting go of its zero-emissions hatchback a.k.a. the B-Class Electric Drive effective on the third quarter of this year. It hasn’t even been three years yet since it started selling in the market in December 2013. The reason behind its departure isn’t only caused by the EV’s obvious poor sales performance, but also because Mercedes-Benz will soon to renovate its manufacturing facility in Restatt, Germany.
Details about replacing this model have not been revealed yet but the factory will be converted mainly for Mercedes Benz’s upcoming compact model range. By 2018, the German car manufacturer is looking to launch an all-new A-Class hatchback along with other compact vehicle models. While the traditionally powered B-Class maintains its production course, Mercedes sees to it that its newly developed EQ sub brand will find the new range of EVs ready for take-off. More than ten vehicles with no combustion engines are being prepared for launch all the way until 2025. All these come with an investment amounting to $11.7 Billion.
It seems Mercedes finally knows what to expect as far as electrification is involved especially after setting out the Concept EQ last 2016 in Paris. Though the concept model is actually a crossover, talks about another EQ concept are strong and it seems to be heading its way to this year’s Frankfurt Motorshow. If so, Mercedes is looking to unveil a production hatchback EV that will probably rival the BMW i3, if not exceed it. Rumors also suggest that it is set to arrive as a road-going model by 2020.
The US-specified B250e tips the scales at 1,780kg (3,924lbs) and packs a 28kWh lithium ion battery with a range capable of up to 87 miles. With a starting price of 39,000 USD, the B-Class electric drive vehicle comes with an electric motor that is capable of accelerating from zero to 60 miles per hour (0-96kph) in 7.9 seconds before reaching a 100mph (160kph) top speed.
It can be recalled that Mercedes was only able to sell at least 3,651 examples of the B-Class ED since it went on sale. At first, the sales were limited to just a few number of states conforming with the zero emission standards. After which it was then offered to non- ZEV state dealerships, but unfortunately it was not widely carried throughout the network of dealerships in the United States.