The cars you want for your city: Mercedes-Benz moves EVs to the mainstream

Wed, 2015-01-07 06:00 -- Jesse Berst

Glance through the announcement below from Council Lead Partner Mercedes-Benz and you will see that electric vehicles (EVs) are finally going mainstream. The company has found a way to put its ultra-low-emission electric drive and batteries into a "standard" vehicle that can be assembled on the same production line as internal combustion models. And that deliver every bit as much room, comfort and safety.

Mercedes-Benz analyses the environmental compatibility of its models throughout their entire life cycle -- from production, through their long years of service, to recycling at the end of their lives.  As the company points out, its B-Class Electric Drive is a convincing proposition in all sorts of ways:

  • Locally emission-free, significantly more eco-friendly over its complete life cycle thanks to 64% lower CO2 emissions than the equivalent B 180 petrol model
  • Generous in terms of space and range (200 km)
  • Dynamic on the road (output of 132 kW)

The drive's high environmental compatibility has also been confirmed by the inspectors at the TÜV Süd technical inspection authority, who have awarded the electric-drive Sports Tourer from Mercedes-Benz the environmental certificate in accordance with ISO standard TR 14062. This certification is based on a comprehensive life-cycle assessment of the B-Class Electric Drive.

"The fact that we are able to integrate the electric motor and batteries into a perfectly 'normal' B-Class does not only mean that we can assemble the Electric Drive alongside the other B-Class vehicles on one production line, but almost more importantly means that our customers do not have to make any compromises at all in terms of spaciousness, safety or comfort," explained Dr. Herbert Kohler, Chief Environmental Officer at Daimler AG. "The B-Class Electric Drive is an important milestone along our journey towards emission-free driving."

Mercedes unveils latest self-driving concept car
Earlier this week at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Mercedes-Benz unveiled the latest version of its self-driving concept car. The stylish F015 can do the driving for you – but it also has a steering wheel that lets the operator take control.

A report on the concept car in the International Business Times says the F015 "Luxury in Motion" incorporates high-end features into an "other-worldly design."

During his keynote at CES, Daimler AG chairman and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Dieter Zetsche suggested that "cars will turn into mobile homes in the very best sense of the word." According to the IBT report, he said cars will allow passengers to work, play games and even catch up on sleep.

Zetsche also noted that though there are still challenges the industry must deal with before self-driving autos see wide adoption – things like customer data privacy and legal responsibilities in accidents, for example – it doesn't keep them from looking further ahead.


Jesse Berst is the founding Chairman of the Smart Cities Council. Click to learn about the benefits you receive when you join the Council for free. Follow @Jesse_Berst and connect on LinkedIn.

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