Mercedes has opened the UK order books for its first volume electric car, the B-Class Electric Drive.
Available in two trim levels – Sport and Electric Art – the B-Class Electric Drive can cover up to 142 miles on a single charge and accelerate from 0-62 mph in 7.9 seconds, making it, says Mercedes, the fastest five-seat electric car in its class.
The B-Class Electric Drive is powered by lithium-ion batteries located under the car floor, so it retains the versatility of the B-Class MPV on which it’s based, with seating for five and 501 litres of boot space – rising to 1,456 litres with the rear seats folded. It comes with a fast-charging cable, which enables a full charge in three to four hours, compared to up to nine hours from a conventional home supply.
Available in a choice of eight paint finishes, the Sport model’s standard equipment list includes 17-inch alloy wheels, unique front and rear bumper designs, LED daytime running lights, a 7-inch central display, Artico trim, automatic climate control, a reversing camera and cruise control.
The Electric Art model – available in either Cirrus White or South Seas Blue – features contrasting mirrors and radiator grille elements, 18-inch dual colour alloy wheels, automatic climate control, contrast blue stitching on the seats and aluminium trim.
An optional Energy Assist Package (£945) features adaptive energy recuperation systems to sense road conditions via the forward facing radar. When traffic is identified, increased recuperation is employed to make the most of any deceleration. Likewise, it can use signals from the COMAND system (when specified) to read the topography of the road ahead and adapt accordingly. The driver can override the regenerative cycle via the paddles mounted behind the steering wheel to alter the level of retardation – reducing the likelihood of any energy being wasted.
Further measures fitted as part of the Energy Assist Package include privacy glass and a heated windscreen to reduce load on the air conditioning system, increased insulation around the doors and windows and the addition of a Range Plus button for occasional use, adding extra range to the battery capacity than would normally be feasible. Finally, the car will emit a subtle but audible signal at speeds of up to 18 mph to warn pedestrians of its presence.
The new Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive is available to order now for 2015 deliveries.