Built at the Rastatt plant in Germany, the B-Class Electric Drive went on sale back in December 2013 and it never really took off in terms of sales. Only 3,651 units have been sold since the model’s launch, so the EV’s demise doesn’t actually come as a big surprise. In an interview with Automotive News, Mercedes USA spokesman, Rob Moran, confirmed the zero-emissions hatchback is being put out to pasture and will effectively be axed in the third quarter of the year.
There’s another reason why the B-Class ED is being phased out as Mercedes has to retool the factory to get it ready for the next generation of its compact models launching in 2018 with the all-new A-Class hatchback. Meanwhile, the conventionally powered B-Class models will remain in production.
While there’s no replacement in sight for the EV, Mercedes is prepping a whole family of electric vehicles as part of its newly established “EQ” sub brand. No less than 10 cars without combustion engines are going to be launched until 2025 following what will be a massive investment of €10 billion ($11.7B).
The company with the three-pointed star badge has already previewed what’s to come in terms of electrification by unveiling the Concept EQ at the 2016 Paris Motor Show. While that one was a crossover, it is believed Mercedes will unveil a second EQ concept in Frankfurt this September to preview a production hatchback EV set to compete with the BMW i3. Some say it’s due to arrive in road-going form sometime in 2020.
As a refresher, the U.S.-spec B250e weighs in at a hefty 3,924 pounds (1,780 kilograms) and comes with a 28-kWh lithium-ion battery pack that has enough juice for 87 miles. It starts off at $39,900 and uses an electric motor developing 177 horsepower and 251 pound-feet of torque for a 0-60 mph (0-96 kph) run in 7.9 seconds and a top speed of 100 mph (160 kph).