by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte

REPORT: Mercedes-Benz working with Tesla on future all-electric B-Class

Mercedes-Benz has recently launched its integrated 2020 development programme which lists, among many other important points, the construction of new and innovative technologies that help improve efficiency, reduce running costs and offer sustainable mobility. The green dream is to build a practical all-electric vehicle, which should be capable to offer decent performance, comfort and versatility at a decent price.

The second generation of the B-Class, launched in 2011, is the basis for the all new E-CELL model planned for unveiling in 2014. Back in 2009, the German carmaker acquired a 10 percent stake in the US automotive constructor Tesla (more details HERE) and now the two brands will collaborate and share knowledge for the development of this 100% electric compact sports tourer.

Tesla will provide most of the powertrain, including the electric motor and the Li-Ion storage batteries. The forthcoming B-Class E-CELL is not the first fruit of the collaboration between the two partners. The smart fortwo electric drive, that celebrated the market launch in June 2012, is already using technical components from Tesla.

For the parent company Daimler, this 2014 version of the compact MPV, in fact the series materialization of the Concept BlueZERO E-CELL of 2009, will be the third electric vehicle in the portfolio, after the above-mentioned smart model and the SLS AMG E-CELL supercar, coming onto the market beginning with 2013. However, the plans to build a hybrid, gasoline-electric variant for the B-Class with range extender are not completely phased out. Both the Concept BlueZERO E-CELL PLUS showcar and the near-series Concept B-Class E-CELL Plus prototype revealed at Frankfurt last year, form a solid basis for a future serial car which should arrive in 2015.

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