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Mercedes abandons B-Class EV for EQ

Mercedes-Benz 2014 B-Class Electric Drive

Automaker will retire the poorly selling B-Class Electric Drive to concentrate on EQ electrification

Mercedes-Benz will end production of its B-class Electric Drive hatchback during the third quarter and instead concentrate on its upcoming EQ electric vehicles, Automotive News reported.

A spokesman for the German automaker’s USA division confirmed the decision to the trade auto news outlet. In an email, US spokesman Robert Moran said: “Due to our strategic focus on [connectivity, autonomous driving, sharing and electric drive systems] for the mobility of the future, we are planning the step-by-step electrification of our portfolio… Moreover, we are evaluating the production of our new generation of electric vehicles at all of our locations of Mercedes Benz Cars.”

Petrol and diesel versions of the vehicle will continue to be made, although not in the US.

Mercedes has reportedly only sold 3,651 of the B-class Electric Drive since it was launched, in December 2013. The car is based on a conversion of the standard B-class production model, rather than a new, tailored EV design.

In that regard, focusing on the potential of its upcoming models is perhaps a better strategy. Mercedes hopes to have 10 EVs on the market by 2025, by which time they will make up 15-20% of its total global sales.

Mercedes 2017 S550e is also set to include new features such as wireless charging, as parent group Daimler pushes a wider electrification of all its brands.

Against that wider shift, the retirement of the B-Class is hopefully a case of going backwards to move forwards.


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