Mercedes Benz B Class Electric Prototype Finally Taken for a Spin
|   Friday, January 31, 2014
Mercedes Benz has finally launched a fully operational electric proto type B Class vehicle. We went ahead and took it for a test ride and were fairly surprised at what we found. Electric vehicles are not quite as popular as we would have hoped for, since they have a few inherent problems related to total distance travelled on single charge. Tesla was the first production car company to make a breakthrough in this field.

Over the years various car companies have come up with major production vehicles, even though most of them have failed to make any major impacts, save a few.
Mercedes Benz has worked on electric vehicles in the past, although this is the first time they are super confident about an electric production vehicle. If you think you will finally be able to own this vehicle on European roads, don't get your hopes up high, as Mercedes Benz is yet to confirm a right hand drive variant of this vehicle.

Left hand drive variants will be initially available for sale in various global markets, while debuting at the Los Angeles Motor Show this year. Sales in Europe are expected to start by October this year, whereas plug in hybrid variants should be available soon. This vehicle will compete with Nissan's Leaf, BMW i3 and Volkswagen's Golf GTE in class.

A generous boot capacity of 485 liters is present on its interior, which is quite spacious, airy and capable of carrying three adults easily. Mercedes Benz has claimed power displacement close to 174 BHP (8 BHP more than BMW's i3 and 40 BHP more than the four cylindered, turbo charged B200 CDI). As with any electric vehicle, torque displacement is quite high. Hence, we can expect high initial performance from this machine.

Acceleration from 0 – 60 MPH is limited to 7.9 seconds while top speed has been limited to 100 MPH. Linear power delivery makes it energetic while adequate performance enhancements keep this vehicle on track. Certain countries have fairly strict laws even for electric vehicles. One such measure includes engine noise. Mercedes Benz is working on various engine notes currently, although we are yet to get confirmed reports of what exactly they are planning for this vehicle.

A sound controlled has also been added to mimic engine rev note, below 19 MPH. The battery setup weighs approximately 300 kg, which puts the total weight tally at 1750 kg. BMW's i3 weighs approximately 1195 kg, which puts it at an advantage when compared. Price points should decide the final market winner as Mercedes Benz is yet to publicly announce an expected price on this car.

While it is practical, it lacks finesse and builds quality provided by BMW. This as a result could determine who will rule this segment. All B Class vehicles handle in a predictable fashion, although they do not share AMG's performance tuning prowess. Steering and suspension dampers monitor street conditions and adapt accordingly. General mechanical components are genuinely capable of handling this vehicle in general on straight roads as well as around corners.
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