Mercedes-Benz has introduced a new plug-in electric version of the second-generation B-class at the Paris Motor Show. The almost production-ready MPV was made with the cooperation of Tesla. It gives us a preview of the B-class Electric Drive that’s due to be offered in selected markets starting in early 2014.
This project is include in a new-product offensive of broad based zero emission models, which include the SLS Electric Drive.
It’s probable that this new car would be offered on an extended monthly lease scheme similar to the one used on the Smart Electric Drive. It will feature an electric motor positioned where the B-class’s various four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines are placed.
The brushless unit has an output of 134bhp and 228lb ft torque. The motor is powered by a lithium ion battery pack but its capacity has yet to be announced.
This is attached down in the floor of the front-wheel drive B-class’s platform before the rear axle. Mercedes-Benz refers to this set-up as the Energy Space. It is claimed that the batteries offer an overall range of 200km on a full charge.
They can be charged by either plugging it in or by recuperative means while being driven. The Smart Brabus Electric Drive debuted beside the B-class Electric Drive at the Paris motor show.
B-Class Electric Drive Concept car from Mercedes-Benz is unique compared to other B-Class models especially in terms of looks. It has newly-designed side skirts which elegantly embrace the attractive front and rear bumpers. The charging unit is also hidden at the back of the filler flap. A distinct reflective blue impression on its exterior identifies the B-Class Electric Drive Concept as an emission-free, environment-friendly electric vehicle.
High-end interior for superior comfort
An array of instruments and tools has been utilized to perform functions that are unique to an electric-powered vehicle. The circular dial on its right integrates a power monitor which is easily comprehensible.
For instance, the pointer elevates with the consumption of power and drops under the zero line as the vehicle feeds energy back to the battery pack. This minimalistic setup is designed to forego any useless electronic tools which may distract the driver’s focus from the traffic.
Soft and elegant nappa is used predominantly in the vehicle’s interior, wrapping the steering wheel, door center panels, seats, the dashboard and the armrests, which is then outlined by turquoise blue stitching. Moreover, the passenger compartment is colored in white, crystal grey and black.
The seat center panels and armrests are perforated to maintain the showcar's agile and sporty status. Snappy highlights are also done by fine piping in white, turquoise and black, thus providing a nice border for the seat surfaces that are light. The head restraints are also designed with the embroidered Electric Drive icon.