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Mercedes releases electric-only B-Class in the US

With a range of 85 miles and a sticker of about $42,000, this car is a pretty good deal, given the other choices. Though the Nissan Leaf isn’t bad, the ‘Merc goes for about $34K after a $7,500 federal subsidy for electric cars, which may vary depending upon which state you live in. Though the US is the first market for this car, it’s only being sold in 8 different states that actually have a legitimate or emerging charging network: California, Oregon, New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maryland, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

The B-Class gets a smart, but garden-variety interior and exterior when compared to its direct rival, the BMW i3, which stickers for nearly the same price. Like the i3, the range is the same and there is an optional range-extending gasoline engine that will increase the range up to 200 miles on a tank. Though the torque rivals that of a hot hatchback at 251 ft-lbs, the 177 horsepower offered isn’t going to set the world on fire and the 0-60 time of 7.9 seconds is another indication of the immense weight from the Tesla lithium-ion batteries located in the floor: this benign little hatchback weighs 3,858 lbs. Nonetheless, it’s pretty exciting to see the more affordable EVs on the market moving to a more upmarket world on the inside. For more details, check out the press release after the jump.


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