Published on April 16th, 2014 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Mercedes Starts B-Class Electric Car Production
Mercedes-Benz has officially announced that the new B-Class Electric Drive has just entered production at the company’s plant in Rastatt. The new B-Class Electric Drive has been conceived to take on the likes of the BMW i3 and Nissan Leaf. However, unlike the uniquely styled electric car competition, the new B-Class Electric Drive is based on an existing model: the second-generation B-class.
At the heart of the new B-Class Electric Drive is a lithium-ion battery produced by Tesla Motors – a company of which parent company Daimler took a minority ten per cent stake back in 2009.
The B-Class Electric Drive shows little changes over the existing second-generation B-class models. It receives a newly styled front bumper and body-coloured cladding within the wheelarches and features that are expected to be incorporated on the facelifted B-class to be launched later this year.
The B-class Electric Drive is powered by a front mounted electric motor that produces 177bhp and 250 lb-ft of torque. Preliminary performance figures point to a capability to accelerate 0-100 km/h in 7.9sec and a limited top speed of 161 km/h. Although initially planned to be produced in left-hand drive guise only, Mercedes-Benz confirms right-hand-drive versions of its first series production electric vehicle are under development.