At a mere £27,000, even after a £5000 government grant for acquiring an EV, the Mercedes B-Class EV will still be £1500 more expensive than the BMW i3. On the surface, this would seem to indicate that Mercedes is perhaps not as positive or as confident about the electric vehicle market as some of its luxury competitors. However, while many had expected the company to release the A-Class as its first entry into the EV market, perhaps Mercedes is playing a longer game?
Yes, it may be a little surprising to learn that this is Mercedes first foray into the electronic vehicle market although the powertrain was developed in tandem with Tesla.
What can we expect from this new electric vehicle?
The basic figures show that the vehicle can accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in just 7.9 seconds with a driving range on a full charge of around 124 miles. If we put the cost aside for one moment, these figures are not too bad in the modern day electric vehicle market although it seems that Mercedes does not expect to sell too many in the UK. The company has admitted it will sell "more than 100 but less than 500 units" and the situation seems to be similar across other major markets.
Quote from ElectricForum.com: "Its seems as though the mighty Mercedes is finally waking up to the potential of EVs - Better late than never? Or is it too late?"
It is worth noting that the Mercedes B-Class EV is based upon the award-winning traditional fuel B-Class vehicle and, unlike the BMW i3, has not been specifically created for the electronic vehicle market. The BMW range of electric vehicles takes in not only the latest technology but also the latest materials which are ultralight but still very safe and sturdy. Perhaps we can expect Mercedes to release a totally new vehicle in the medium to longer term which could help the company make a name for itself in the future?
Those who are interested in sampling the Mercedes B-Class EV will perhaps be a little disappointed to know that it will be sold on an order by order basis only. Quite how this could be seen as encouraging car dealerships across the world to push the new Mercedes EV is debatable.
Everyone wants a slice of the electric vehicle market
Just recently we have seen introduction of the Mercedes EV and indeed it is rumoured that Toyota, a company which pulled out of the EV market a few years ago, is now ready to re-enter. It seems that all automobile manufacturers around the world now realise the electric vehicle market is here to stay and they need to have some form of exposure. There have been exceptional developments in the field of recharging networks, new technology and journey capacity. Slowly but surely the general public is switching onto the electric vehicle market, something which some experts believed would never happen.
When you also bear in mind that the current growth in electric vehicle sales has occurred amidst one of the worst recessions the world has ever seen, this does illustrate the underlying strength of the industry. Government support for the sector, in the form of grants to businesses and consumers, has been vital and many are now beginning to wonder when governments around the world will rein in their support?