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02 August 2017

Mercedes-Benz to Axe Electric B-Class Hatch

Say goodbye to the B-Class in America

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The Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive, also known as the B250e, is a compact electric hatchback that’s only been on sale since 2013. It’s also the only version of the B-Class the German automaker sells in America. But it won’t be around much longer.

According to Automotive News, Mercedes will phase out production of the B250e later this year. It will continue to produce the gasoline and diesel versions, but since those aren’t sold in the U.S., this announcement means the B-Class will no longer be available in the ‘States.

The front-wheel-drive hatchback’s single electric motor makes 177 hp and 251 lb-ft of torque, which Mercedes claims is good for a 0-60 time of 7.9 seconds. The 28-kilowatt-hour battery, meanwhile, gives the electric hatch a range of up to 87 miles on a charge. Pricing starts just under $41,000 before tax credits.

Mercedes says the electric B-Class will be phased out to allow its Rastatt plant to be reconfigured to produce the next-generation compact vehicle it intends to begin selling in 2018. But as Automotive News points out, the B250e has also been a slow mover ever since it was introduced. Since it went on sale toward the end of 2013, only 3,651 have been sold worldwide. For comparison, the Nissan Leaf has sold approximately 10 times as many units in the U.S. during the same time period.

In the U.S., at least, this is partly the result of the electric B-Class’ limited availability. It was originally only sold in a few states, and while it was later offered nationwide, dealers never kept many in stock. Without strong sales, it was only a matter of time before Mercedes pulled the plug. The automaker is still committed to building EVs, however, with Mercedes boss Dieter Zetsche promising an “electric product offensive” via its upcoming EQ brand.

Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)

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