The 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive uses Tesla's drive system producing 177 horspower and 251 pound feet of torque with and EPA-estimated range of 85 miles. The U.S. gets it before Europe does, but is it the ultimate car for your daily commutes?
Mercedes parent Daimler and Tesla has been buddies since forever, with Daimler still having a 0.14% stake in Tesla. That's why the previous electric Smart ForTwo used Tesla's drivetrain as well, and despite what Mercedes USA's CEO Steve Cannon
thinks of the brand, the cooperation keeps on flourishing.
While not compatible with Tesla's Supercharger network, the B-Class Electric Drive still sounds pretty practical with a range of 85 miles achieved by constant coasting and regenerative braking. It also has a charging time of just 2 hours for a range of 60 miles using a standard 240V socket. And since the batteries are stored in the underfloor of the vehicle, you get a luggage compartment of 17.69 to 51.42 cubic feet with the seats folded down.
The 177 hp electric motor has a maximum torque of 251 lb-ft, which means the B-Class Electric Drive can reach 60 mph from standing in 7.9 seconds, the same as a 1981 Ferrari 308 GTSi. Top speed is limited to 100 mph.
Will this do for zero emission commuting in 2014, or will you keep looking until somebody comes up with 100+ miles range for $42,375?