IAA International Motor Show 2013: the B-Class Electric Drive


Locally emission-free, powerful and networked – Electric motoring with no compromises: the new Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive

Mercedes-Benz Electric Drive

Mercedes-Benz will unveil a new generation of the electric car at the IAA International Motor Show 2013: the B-Class Electric Drive features a dynamic design, high-class interior and powerful electric motor for locally emission-free motoring. This affords lively, effortlessly superior driving pleasure over a range of around 200 kilometres. In addition, the B‑Class Electric Drive is digitally networked, with all important information being conveniently accessible via the internet, thanks to connected services. As the Mercedes-Benz among electric vehicles, the new car sets clear standards in terms of comfort, quality and safety for up to five occupants. The B-Class Electric Drive, bearing the unmistakable three-pointed star trademark, will be launched first on the US market in 2014.

The new B-Class Electric Drive surprises with an especially dynamic driving experience: it provides noticeably powerful acceleration, while gliding along almost noiselessly. The new electric Mercedes offers the driver and up to four passengers the familiar high standards of ride comfort in a high-class, spacious and precision-designed interior. The B-Class Electric Drive combines dynamism and driving pleasure with zero local emissions – in short: it delivers electric motoring at premium level.

Dr Joachim Schmidt, member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Cars with responsibility for Sales and Marketing: “Electric motoring with battery and fuel cell has a long history at Daimler. Our electric family of currently nine models is now being strengthened by the introduction of a tenth member. The B-Class Electric Drive meets many customers’ demands for emission-free motoring without foregoing the hallmark attributes of a Mercedes-Benz: safety and comfort. And, let’s not forget: exhilarating driving pleasure.”

Powerful drive with brisk acceleration

The new Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive is based on the conventionally powered B-Class, which has become a bestseller since being launched in a host of countries in 2011. To the end of July 2013, over 230,000 units of the B-Class from the current model series had been delivered. As an especially versatile vehicle concept, the B-Class with innovative electric drive now additionally allows environmentally compatible motoring to Mercedes standards.

Mercedes-Benz has collaborated with TESLA Motors to develop the electric B‑Class. The two companies share many years of cooperation in the field of electric mobility. As a shareholder in TESLA, Daimler has also been represented on TESLA’s supervisory board since 2009. The battery for the predecessor model of the smart fortwo electric drive, for instance, comes from TESLA. For the B-Class Electric Drive, Mercedes-Benz is once again availing itself of the extensive know-how available from the electric car pioneer and is using the TESLA drive system in its own vehicle.

Quiet, locally emission-free motoring is ensured by an electric motor generating 130 kW. Typically for an electric drive system, this develops its maximum torque of 340 newton metres from the very first touch of the accelerator. This is approximately equivalent to the torque from a modern three-litre petrol engine. The result is noticeably powerful acceleration from a standing start. For the standard sprint from zero to 100 km/h, too, the electrically driven B-Class requires 7.9 seconds. Effortlessly superior driveability and exhilarating driving pleasure with a high level of dynamism are thus guaranteed in every situation.

The power supply to the electric drive is from a high-performance lithium-ion battery, which is compactly and safely housed in the so-called “Energy Space” in the underfloor of the vehicle. Such intelligent packaging allows the five-seater to retain the B-Class’s familiar spaciousness in both its interior and its luggage compartment.

Zero emissions also on longer journeys

In the interests of optimising the range, the top speed is electronically limited to 160 km/h. Depending on driving cycle, the vehicle has a range of around 200 kilometres. This permits emission-free motoring not just in city traffic and on short journeys, but also over longer distances – such as those covered by many commuters on a daily basis. The B-Class Electric Drive can be charged from any standard domestic power socket. For a range of around 100 kilometres, the charging time at 400 V in Europe is about 1.5 hours. On the road, the electric drive makes its own contribution to a favourable energy balance by recovering energy under overrun conditions as well as by converting the kinetic energy produced during braking into electric power and feeding it to the battery.

Dynamic Mercedes-Benz design

Refined sportiness combined with aesthetic appeal – the B-Class Electric Drive features the self-assured and dynamic styling so typical of Mercedes with powerfully defined lines and finely crafted details. The front and rear sections emphasise the width of the vehicle. This is ensured by the wide, prominent grille and the headlamps, which wrap round into the sides, as well as by the wide rear window, two-piece tail lights and large tailgate with deep sill. A dynamic look is created by door-sill panels and striking bumpers with bar-shaped LED daytime running lamps. The charge socket is inconspicuously installed behind the tailboard.

Sporty interior with classy touches

The interior underscores the high standards of comfort typical of Mercedes‑Benz. High-grade materials and finely textured surfaces, classy touches and precision workmanship make it clear that Mercedes-style electric motoring is defined by high standards.

The three large round centre air vents with their uniquely styled cruciform nozzles add a sporty flair that contributes to the overall emotive design idiom of the interior. Positioned above the air vents and seemingly free-floating is the screen for the telematics system – a state-of-the-art eye-catcher in the cockpit.

In terms of information and communication systems, the electric B-Class offers levels of comfort and functionality that were previously reserved for higher classes of vehicles. The standard equipment package includes the Audio 20 with 14.7-centimetre colour display, twin tuner and MP3-compatible CD player as well as USB port. Navigation is taken care of by the Becker® MAP PILOT. The COMAND Online multimedia system with internet access, navigation and LINGUATRONIC voice control is also optionally available.

The instrumentation of the B-Class Electric Drive is rounded off by functions that are specific to electric vehicles. One of the striking features is the power display in the right-hand circular instrument. When full power is demanded by the driver, the instrument pointer moves in a clockwise direction from the green zone towards the red zone. It drops back below the zero line when the vehicle is feeding energy into the battery through the recuperation feature.

Ideally networked: connected services

Thanks to its state-of-the-art technology, the B-Class Electric Drive is not just sustainable and agile, but also networked. For example, the Vehicle Homepage allows convenient remote interrogation and remote configuration of the vehicle. The driver can use their PC or smartphone to conveniently access the vehicle via the internet. It is possible, for instance, to ascertain the current state of charge of the lithium-ion battery or to show the vehicle’s current range on a map. In addition, the planned route can be displayed, showing at a glance where the vehicle can be recharged along the way, should this prove necessary. The range of connected services is rounded off by a feature that allows individually timed pre-heating or cooling of the vehicle. This pre-entry climate control system makes the B-Class Electric Drive unique in its segment.

Big on safety

Mercedes-Benz applies its familiar, high safety standards to the B-Class Electric Drive. Thanks to the innovative “Energy Space”, the battery is safely accommodated in the underfloor of the vehicle, where it is ensured protection in the event of a crash. In addition, Mercedes-Benz has equipped this innovative electric car with the radar-based collision warning system COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST with adaptive Brake Assist as standard. This assistance system gives the driver a visual and audible warning of detected obstacles, prepares them for braking action and assists them with the braking process as the situation requires. In this way, it significantly reduces the danger of a rear-end collision. Additional cutting-edge driver assistance systems are also available, including Blind Spot Assist, Lane Keeping Assist and Active Parking Assist.

Electric motoring made by Mercedes-Benz and smart

IAA International Motor Show

Locally emission-free electric vehicles such as the new B-Class Electric Drive are a key part of Mercedes-Benz’s strategy for sustainable mobility. The Stuttgart-based premium manufacturer is asserting its claim to leadership in this sector with electric vehicles that are fully suitable for everyday use. These include the A-Class E-CELL, B-Class F-CELL, Vito E-CELL, SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive and the smart fortwo electric drive. Mercedes-Benz aims to strengthen its position in future, not least with the new B-Class Electric Drive, which will be available initially in the USA from 2014, before subsequently being launched in European markets.

Technical data*

Output 130 kW
Torque 340 Nm
Range 200 km [NEDC], 115 miles [US City]
Charging time for a range of 100 km [NEDC] ECE: 1.5 h at 400 V
60 miles [US City] USA: less than 2 h at 240 V
Acceleration 0-100 km/h (0-60 mph) 7.9 seconds
Top speed 160 km/h (100 mph), electronically limited
*provisional figures