Mercedes-Benz has been selling its B-Class Electric Drive in the United States since 2014, with the 87-mile compact minivan introduced here primarily for compliance reasons.
But with the automaker’s compact range on the verge of transitioning to a new platform, the B-Class Electric Drive will soon be phased out.
A company spokesperson has confirmed to Automotive News (subscription required) that the B-Class Electric Drive will be dropped in the third quarter of 2017 and not replaced.
Instead, a standalone compact from the new Mercedes EQ sub-brand for electric cars will be introduced to fill the void. A preview of this standalone model, tipped to be called an EQA, should come in the form of a concept at next month’s 2017 Frankfurt auto show.
The so-called EQA will ride on Mercedes's modular electric car platform, known as the Modular Electric Architecture (MEA), and offer a range approaching 300 miles. It’s expected to be the second model from Mercedes EQ.
The first Mercedes EQ model will be a small SUV. Previewed by the Generation EQ concept unveiled at the 2016 Paris auto show, the vehicle is due in 2018 and has already been spied testing. Mercedes is committed to adding as many as 10 electric cars to its lineup by 2022 including SUVs, sedans, hatchbacks and commercial vehicles.
As for the next-generation B-Class, Mercedes will no longer offer a pure electric option though a plug-in hybrid option should be available. The next B-Class will be just one of at least eight body styles Mercedes is planning for its next-generation compact range.