Mercedes-Benz on the charge with its first volume electric car
Mercedes-Benz has announced that its first volume electric car, the B-class Electric Drive, has gone on sale in the UK priced from £26,950. This price includes the £5,000 OLEV grant offered by the Government. The first deliveries are expected to start soon.
The lithium-ion battery pack is housed in the underbody which means boot space is precisely the same level as the conventional B-class hatchback. That means with the rear seats in place, you can use up to 501-litres, but should more space be required, then the rear seats can be folded, leaving you up to 1,456-litres to use.
According to official figures, the 177bhp petrol-electric combo produces 251lb ft of torque, which is enough to propel the B-class Electric Drive to 62mph from a standing start in 7.9 seconds before going to on reach its top speed of 99mph. The German company says it is the both the most powerful and fastest accelerating 5-seat electric car in its class. And the company also says that with a range of up to 142 miles, it has the greatest theoretical range on a single charge.
Charging on a conventional home-supply will take around 9-hours to complete, but a fast charging cable (supplied with the car) reduces this to between three and four hours.
The Mercedes-Benz B-class Electric Drive is available in two different trim levels: Sport and Electric Art. The entry-level Sport starts from £31,950 and, subject to approval, can be eligible for the £5,000 OLEV grant. This will reduce the price to £26,950. It comes equipped with 17-inch alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, a 7-inch central display, Artico trim, automatic climate control, a reversing camera and cruise control. You can order your B-class Electric Drive Sport in any one of eight colours.
The Electric Art costs from £32,245, reducing to £27,245 with the OLEV grant applied. It is available in just two colours: Cirrus White or South Seas Blue. The seats have contrasting blue stitching which is complemented by aluminium trim in the cabin. It sits on larger 18-inch alloy wheels.
A £945 Energy Assist Package is also available which uses a forward-facing radar to sense road conditions. If it detects traffic ahead, it will employ increased recuperation to make the most of any deceleration. It is also capable of using signals from the COMAND system (when specified) to read the topography of the road ahead. It will then adapt accordingly to increase the potential range. It is possible for the driver to over-ride the regenerative cycle using the paddles mounted behind the steering wheel.
The Energy Assist Package also includes a heated windscreen and privacy glass and increased insulation to reduce the load on the air conditioning system.
On occasional use, you are able to make use of a ‘Range Plus’ button which adds extra range to the battery capacity than would normally be feasible.
In order to address safety concerns associated with ‘silent’ electric cars, an audible signal is emitted at speeds of up to 18mph to help warn pedestrians of the presence of the car.
This article has been prepared by our car news team First4Auto.