Sales of the Mercedes-Benz B-class Electric Drive will start in the UK in the first quarter of next year, with prices starting at around £32,000.
Mercedes has also recently confirmed pricing for the US version of the model, which will go on sale for $41,450, or around £24,600. The difference in price between US and UK versions is likely to be down to increased specification and equipment lists on European models.
After the UK government's £5000 plug-in vehicle grant, which was recently extended to at least 2017 as part of a £500 million funding boost, the price of the B-class Electric Drive could drop to around £27,000. That means the car will cost some £1320 more than the all-electric BMW i3, which has a list price of £30,680, falling to £25,680 after the plug-in grant.
The new Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive has a claimed all-electric range of around 85 miles. Powering the 1750kg EV is a front-mounted electric motor which makes 177bhp and 250lb ft of torque. Official performance figures show a 0-60mph time of 7.9 seconds and a limited top speed of 100mph. Electricity is stored in a Tesla-made lithium-ion battery.
While visually the Electric Drive appears indistinct from standard B-class models, it gets a newly-styled front bumper and new body-coloured cladding within the wheel arches. Both of those features could be incorporated into the facelifted B-class when it goes on sale later this year, following a debut at the Paris motor show in October.
In the US, the B-class Electric Drive comes with a range of safety features, including Collision Prevention Assist, Blind Spot Assist, Lane Keeping Assist and Active Parking Assist. All the options available for the conventionally powered B-Class, including voice control and Mercedes' Comand infotainment system with internet access will be available for the Electric Drive as well.