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2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive: Teaser Video Emerges From Company


It's never too early to start teasing.

Like a Hollywood blockbuster, the Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive is getting its own trailer to build anticipation in advance of the electric car's on-sale date sometime in the first half of 2014.

The short video features a day in the life of a B-Class Electric Drive--complete with happy family and gorgeous nature images that are apparently deemed appropriate for selling a zero-emission hatchback.

To remind customers that the B-Class Electric Drive isn't Mercedes' first attempt at a plug-in car, the trailer also features cameo appearances by a Smart Fortwo Electric Drive and a Vito E-Cell delivery van (not offered in the U.S.).

The B-Class Electric Drive is on its way to the United States; we expect it to arrive in showrooms in Spring 2014.

Based on the gasoline and diesel B-Class hatchback models sold in Europe, the Electric Drive is motivated by a 100-kilowatt (134 horsepower) electric motor that also produces 228 pound-feet of torque.

2014 Mercedes-Benz B Class Electric Drive Live Photos

2014 Mercedes-Benz B Class Electric Drive Live Photos

Enlarge Photo

The entire powertrain is produced by Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA], and has a familial relationship to those in Toyota RAV4 EV and Tesla's own Model S electric luxury sedan.

The B-Class Electric Drive should be able to do 0 to 60 mph in under 10 seconds; top speed will reportedly be limited to 100 mph.

Range is estimated at around 115 miles. A 60-mile charge from a 240-volt Level 2 charging station takes under two hours; Mercedes hasn't released an estimate for a full charge.

Like the recently-introduced CLA-Class, the B-Class Electric Drive will have front-wheel drive.

It will also feature Mercedes' clever sandwich floor, which houses the lithium-ion battery pack. This allows for a lower center of gravity--and improved handling--and doesn't intrude into passenger space.

Mercedes' hasn't released any price estimates, but it will be interesting to see where the B-Class Electric Drive's sticker sits in relation to the 2014 BMW i3's $42,275 base price.

While one is a purpose-built and high-tech battery-electric vehicle and the other is a low-volume conversion of an existing model, the two electric cars may still take the BMW-Mercedes rivalry to a whole new level.

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