Mercedes-Benz Says Its Future Electric B-Class Will Beat the BMW i3
|   Saturday, October 12, 2013
The launching of the first full-electric BMW model did not frighten the rivals from Mercedes-Benz, which announces its own electric B-Class for 2014.
Thus, a month after the official launch of the electric BMW i3 and BMW i8 models, with great fanfare too, Mercedes-Benz announced the upcoming electric version of B-Class, and that it has a real chance to overcome i3 in terms of autonomy, performance and charging times. The rivalry between the two brands thus leads to technological progress, all reflected in the benefits of electric cars customers in the coming years.


"With the B-Class, we are bringing out an electric vehicle with five full-fledged seats and no constraints on trunk space. The B-Class Electric Drive has a range of 200 km – and that's not just on paper. The 200 km (125 miles) actually can be achieved in normal daily use. The car also has a top speed of 160 km / h. With torque of significantly more than 300 newton meters and with an acceleration of 0 – 100 km / h in 7.9 seconds, we are offering sports car feeling in a compact car. And the batteries are fully charged in three hours," said Daimler research and development boss Thomas Weber in an interview for Automobilwoche.

Looking at the specs on the BMW i3, we can see that the real advantage held over the Mercedes-Benz will be a 0.7 seconds shorter acceleration from 0 to 100 km / h (62 mph). The interior space and luggage compartment, as well as electric range and top speed, not to mention the charging time, appear to be better those of BMW.

One of the model's selling points will be the two-stage energy recuperation system. At the same time, thanks to the paddles on the steering wheel the driver will be able to brake the car in two stages without using his feet to operate the brakes.

A range-extender is not considered at this moment, but Weber doesn't exclude the possibility of future models coming with this option.
"That is not currently planned. The hybrid concept is more efficient than a range extender. While I do not want to rule out offering models with range extenders in the future, as an engineer I don't think much of workarounds. So I clearly prefer direct propulsion with an internal combustion engine for long distances" told Thomas Weber.

The B-Class Electric Drive will be on sale next spring in the US. It will be marketed as an electric-only multipurpose vehicle. Its looks will be similar to a compact SUV thanks to higher ground clearance as well as 18-inch alloy wheels. Europe will see the car next fall just as the revised B-Class lands on the market.

Regarding the expansion of the S-Class lineup, Thomas Weber declared that a production version of the S-Class Coupe Concept will probably be available in 2014. He also said that a convertible version has every chance of coming after the coupe together with a longer S-Class sedan aimed, as expected, towards China and the US.
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