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Mercedes New Fancy Pants EV

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On: Thu, May 15, 2014 at 2:11PM | By: Karen Cook

Mercedes New Fancy Pants EV

Before the summer ends, showrooms will be getting the first Mercedes-Benz all electric compact cars. The B-Class Electric Drive will be the most expensive EV on the market to date, starting at $42,375. The question is whether or not consumers will see enough value to choose it over the less expensive Nissan Leaf or Chevy Spark, both of which are almost half the price.

Mercedes' offering weighs in at 3,984 pounds, has a 28kWh lithium-ion battery (from Tesla) and 177 hp which takes it from 0-60 in 7.9 seconds. It's estimated mileage on a full charge is 87 miles which puts it just under the top ranking Fiat 500E which gets 87. Reports from around the web argue that you are more likely to get 70+ miles on a full charge.

It's fancy on the inside though, which I suppose will appeal to consumers who are used to luxurious gas-powered vehicles and maybe push them to purchase an upscale electric one. It has a wood-trimmed dashboard and standard leather seats. It's roomy enough to fit four adults comfortably and has 17.6 feet of rear cargo space. Also standard is a 5.8-inch touchscreen.

Safety features include front knee and curtain airbags, radar-based collision warning system, and adaptive brake assist—all standard. A lane departure warning system is available but not standard. The battery compartment is reinforced from all sides to minimize the possibility of damage from road debris.

There are special deals on the purchase and installation of a level 2 charger which Mercedes says will take the battery from empty to full in 3.5 hours. There aren't numbers on how long it takes with a standard wall plug.

There are also various state and local tax credits which will help lower the asking price. The federal tax credit is set at $7,500, but that still puts the sale price at $34,875. It's definitely a high end EV, but it doesn't really perform much better than other cheaper models. But if you aren't comfortable driving the same EV as everyone else, this may be the model for you.

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