Rumor Mill: Tesla-Powered Mercedes B-Class EV Bound for U.S.

Mercedes-Benz will begin selling an electric version of the B-Class hatchback in the United States sometime in 2014, the Automotive News reports. The B-Class EV will enter the lineup alongside existing high-mileage Mercedes vehicles that include diesels and hybrids.

Details on the B-Class EV are sparse, but the report states Tesla Motors will supply the electric components including the motor and battery packs. A Benz spokeswoman told us the company wasn’t willing to comment on the report.

Benz’s parent company Daimler currently owns a 4.7-percent stake in Tesla; the two companies first struck a deal a few years ago when Daimler purchased a 10-percent stake in Tesla to produce an electric version of the Smart Fortwo. The third-generation model will use electric components sourced from Daimler.

The upcoming B-Class is based on Benz’s new MFA front-drive platform. The first MFA-based vehicle headed to the states will be the CLA, a “baby-CLS” that was first revealed as the Concept Style Coupe earlier this year. Powertrain options for the CLA have yet to be confirmed, but the car will likely debut with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine mated to a dual-clutch automatic transmission.

Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)