Mercedes-Benz B-Class electric headed to US in 2014
'Zero-emission vehicles receive more favorable classifications,' says unnamed Daimler source.
The B-Class electric vehicle is built on a new front-wheel-drive platform and uses an electric motor, battery packs and various other components from Tesla. (Mercedes' parent company, Daimler, owns 4.7 percent of Tesla.) The EV will be available stateside sometime in 2014. Plans for a range-extended hybrid B-Class, also slated for 2014, were put on hold, according to the unnamed source, because "zero-emission vehicles receive more favorable classifications and higher incentives than vehicles with a range extender" -- something that is especially true in the United States, the source added.
Daimler currently offers an electric version of the smart fortwo in sale in the U.S.
A range-extended Mercedes-Benz B-Class E-cell Plus concept was shown at the Frankfurt auto show last fall, while a 5-door gas-powered version of the B-Class has been on sale in Europe since last year.
The Daimler source also said that the new FWD platform will underpin at least four U.S.-bound vehicles: the aforementioned B-Class EV, an A-Class, the coupe-style CLA 4-door and a crossover.
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