Daimler transplants Tesla drive into B-Class Benz

September 17, 2013 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Daimler's investment into US electric car pioneer Tesla bears fruit: At the IAA automotive fair, Daimler announced a version of its Mercedes-Benz B-Class compact car with electric drive. The powertrain is widely based on technology from Tesla.

The electric B-Class will hit the dealer showrooms in 2014 - and the vehicle will be introduced first in the U.S. market. The design focus was on a sporty driving behaviour, as far as such a goal is possible in a comfortable four-seat compact car. At the fair, Daimler already gave deep insights into technology and equipping. The electric motor generates 130 kW, enough to accelerate the vehicle from zero to 100km/h (62,15 mph) in less than 8 seconds. Top speed is limited to 160 km/h (100 mph). As usual with electric motors, it develops its maximum torque (340 newton-metres) from zero rpm. The lithium-ion battery is housed in a so-called "energy-space" in the vehicle's underfloor. The driving range is relatively ample at 200 km, compared to other current electric vehicles. Of course, the range depends greatly on the driving cycle and the driver's inclination to make generous use of the accelerator pedal.

Another highlight is an audio package that previously was reserved to higher vehicle classes including a 15cm colour display, a high-class GPS system (Becker Map Pilot) and Daimler's COMAND online multimedia system with internet access and voice control. And it is "connected": the vehicle's homepage allows remote interrogation and configuration of many features and functions in the car. For instance, users can ascertain the current battery charge status or show the vehicle's current range on a map. It also features a full range of advanced driver assistance systems including a radar-based collision prevention assist.