Mercedes-Benz hasn't made a big a fuss over its upcoming B-Class Electric Drive like other companies have about their electric vehicles. Now, however, the automaker has revealed that the 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive will cost $42,375 with destination when it goes on sale in the U.S. this summer. It’s based on the B-Class European hatchback model and features an all-electric powertrain developed in partnership with Tesla. In Europe, Mercedes also sells the B-Class with standard gasoline and diesel engines.
The 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class will only be sold in the U.S. in this electric configuration, which uses a Tesla-developed electric motor that produces 177 hp and 251 lb-ft of torque. Mercedes says the car will reach 60 mph in 7.9 seconds. The 28 kWh lithium-ion battery pack makes for an estimated range of 85 miles on a single charge, which takes 3.5 hours to complete with a level 2, 40 amp charger.
Standard features for the 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive include navigation, power front seats, collision prevention assist, parking assist, and LED daytime running lights. Although Mercedes-Benz has not yet released option pricing, the B-Class will offer features like blind spot assist, lane keep assist, and Mercedes-Benz’s COMAND infotainment system with a larger, 7-inch screen as optional.
The 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive’s most direct rival is the 2014 BMW i3, which costs slightly less at $42,275 with destination. The i3 offers a similar amount of power from its electric motor and, like the B-Class, is expected to have a driving range of between 80 and 100 miles. What the BMW has that the Mercedes does not, though, is an optional two-cylinder range-extender gasoline engine that costs $3850 and adds a 2.4-gallon fuel tank, bringing the car’s total range to approximately 200 miles.
The 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive will be covered by an 8-year, 100,000-mile battery warranty along with no cost annual maintenance and roadside assistance. Buyers may also be eligible for a $7500 tax credit, which could make the car's effective sale price $34,875.
Mercedes-Benz has not yet released full information about the car’s 50-state rollout, but a Mercedes-Benz spokesperson told us to expect that the B-Class will go on sale first in California, Oregon, Massachusetts, New York, Vermont, Maryland, Connecticut, and Rhode Island before eventually reaching all 50 states by early 2015.