Mercedes seems to think that its Mercedes B-Class Electric is worth a full $100 more than the popular BMW i3. The i3, which is about to hit US garages and reportedly has a good number of preorders in place, costs $41,350 before any incentives ($33,850 after the federal tax credit, and $31,350 after that tax credit and the California EV rebate). The Mercedes B-Class Electric is coming in with a base price of $41,450. (Seriously, that can't be coincidental.)
The innovative BMW i3 is definitely the nicest car I have ever driven, but the Mercedes B-Class Electric (which I haven't yet driven) could certainly give the i3 a run for its money. The range is supposed to be 85 miles, very similar to the BMW i3's 81 miles. We don't really have any info yet on MPGe, but it will probably be similar to other electric cars, between 100 and 124 MPGe (at least twice as efficient as the 50 MPG Toyota Prius). However, without carbon fiber, the B-Class Electric probably won't beat the new fuel economy record just set by the i3 (124 MPGe).If you pay attention to these sorts of numbers, the B-Class Electric is supposed to have 177 horsepower and go from 0 to 60 MPH in 7.9 seconds (though, with instant torque). The i3 has 170 horsepower and goes from 0 to 60 MPH in 7.2 seconds.
For many people, range, cost, and MPGe are the most important factors when buying an electric car. Those are easy to compare, but plenty of more subjective factors — comfort, drive quality, looks, etc. — are important factors for others. The B-Class Electric looks much more similar to a conventional car than the creatively designed i3, which many will like and many will dislike. We'll have to see what reviewers say about the comfort and drive quality. I'm certainly eager to get my hands on the B-Class Electric! (*Hint Hint*, Mercedes.)