The 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class electric car hasn't quite reached dealerships yet--several are telling customers it could be next week--and its EPA ratings for range and efficiency have been something of a mystery too.
Now, courtesy of an alert electric-car fan, we know the ratings for the first battery-electric vehicle sold as a Mercedes.
The range of the B-Class is given by the EPA as 87 miles, and its combined efficiency is 84 MPGe. (Miles Per Gallon Equivalent, or MPGe, is the distance an electric car can cover on the amount of energy contained in 1 gallon of gasoline.)
Those aren't particularly stellar ratings, as the following chart shows:
- 2014 BMW i3 (battery-electric): Range 81 miles, efficiency 124 MPGe (combined)
- 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class: Range 87 miles, efficiency 84 MPGe (combined)
- 2014 Nissan Leaf: Range 84 miles, efficiency 114 MPGe (combined)
- 2014 Tesla Model S (85-kWh): Range 265 miles, efficiency 89 MPGe (combined)
2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive - First Drive, May 2014
There are plenty of other battery-electric cars for sale in limited parts of the country, but the three listed above (besides the Mercedes) are likely to be the highest-volume entrants in the market next year.
Reader Ray Davis found those B-Class ratings only by doing a "Compare Cars" on the EPA's FuelEconomy.gov website.
But here's a similar comparison, so you can see for yourself.
In the end, the B-Class proves to be slightly less efficient than the Tesla Model S but have a slightly longer rated range than the BMW i3 against which it is often compared.
And that's likely due to its origins as a gasoline- and diesel-engined vehicle, with a full steel body, that's been converted to electric operation.
We suspect the electric B-Class will likely sell in smaller numbers than the mass-market Leaf, the glamorous and long-range Tesla, and probably the BMW i3 as well.
Next year's sales data will tell.
[hat tip: Ray Davis]