While we tend to jump into, rather than plug into a Mercedes-Benz product these days, our latest Quick Spin in the 2014 B-Class Electric Drive has us doing the latter.

Working with TESLA Motors - yes that TESLA - has transformed a conventional Benz B-Class small CUV into a purely electric one. Not familiar with the B-Class? Well it’s long been a staple in Europe. Now the good ole U.S.A. gets this EV model with a Tesla built 177-horsepower, 28 kWh lithium-ion battery powertrain.

Appropriately, our first outing was through California’s Silicon Valley, were we found a driving experience not unlike other EVs: smooth, instant power, and a general sense that electrics may have finally work out most of the kinks, except range--which is about 85 miles.

BEN DAVIS:…it’s really a lot of driver interaction and involvement…with the way that the vehicle delivers power. I’m in the sport mode right now, and really gives you all the juice at once, and it moves it quite briskly, actually…you can keep it in a standard drive auto mode, where it will regen itself at a normal feel to the driver…or you can hit minus, it’ll go down to a D minus, which is a much more aggressive regenerative habit…and it’s pretty heavy…and my favorite, the plus paddle will pretty much shut off all regenerative capability entirely. So if you don’t need that extra range for your commute, you can drive and it virtually feels like a conventional gasoline powered car…

JOHN DAVIS: On sale in select U.S. markets soon, the 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive starts around $42,000.


  • Horsepower: 177
  • Price: Starts around $42,000