5. Mercedes B Class Electric Drive
Degree of innovation:
Release date:Spring 2015
Mercedes have always contributed heavily to developments and progression in the automotive industry with the introduction of various new technologies over the years, from the first seatbelts to Anti-locking Brake System (ABS). This year Mercedes will be responding to their German counterparts with their first all-electric hatchback. The Mercedes will try to outshine the BMW i3 and the Audi A3 E-tron with their B class electric Drive and they've done so in great fashion. Mercedes acknowledged that their B Class is desired for purposes which most suit the electric way of life, which is frequent short journeys such as the school run or heading down to the Supermarket. The B Class has a raised floor in the rear of the vehicle which is where the lithium-ion battery pack lives (instead of the gas cylinders in the non-EV models) so practicality-wise this is an EV simply without compromise. Compared to the generic fuel powered model; the interior is just as spacious, the roofline is just as lofty, the footwells are just as facilitating and the boot space is just as cavernous. Audi had to sacrifice roughly 100 litres of boot space for their Audi A3 to fit the electric batteries and, even worse, they forgot to put concealed storage space for the charging cables so they just sit in a bag - an afterthought perhaps?