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Electric Mercedes B-Class for China

Sun, 08 Aug 2010

Mercedes B-Class is the basis for new China BEV

Back in March we reported that Mercedes and Chinese car maker BYD – they of the high-end battery technology – were getting cosy with plans to launch a new car make in China. And it looks like the first product on the list will be a BEV (battery electric vehicle) based on the current – soon to be repalced – Mercedes B Class.

Which makes a lot of sense. The Mercedes B Class – and the A Class for that matter – utilises a flat floor architecture which will give ample scope for spreading lithium-ion batteries around. That is the best solution in an electric car; far better than sticking the heavy – and expensive – batteries in one big, handling-affecting lump at the front or back of the car.

With the batteries stuck under the floor and the electric motor low down and well back – just as the engine sits in the B Class – the electric motor will drive the front wheels and the B Class will get a new set of sheet metal and new interior styling to fit with the new – yet to be named – China-only brand Mercedes and BYD will be marketing their new range of cars under.

This Mercedes B-Class based model is the first in a range of electric cars expected from the collaboration between Mercedes and BYD. This new range are China only, but be in no doubt that Mercedes will soon utilise what it learns from this joint venture in cars destined for the Western market.

By Cars UK