Next Green Car – Next Generation Awards 2014
WINNER: Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive – CO2: 0 g/km – NGC: TBC*
The Mercedes-Tesla relationship is evident (and welcome) in the B-Class ED with the drive-train and battery pack coming from the California-based company. Capable of 125 miles per full charge, the B-Class ED provides electric motoring in a quality package with more reserved styling than some other brands such as the BMWi range. While the motors can deliver up to 179 bhp (Sport mode), two other driving modes are available: ‘Economy’, where power is limited to 131 bhp; and ‘Economy Plus’ with just 87 bhp and a maximum speed of 70 mph. Expected to be priced from around £27,000.
NGC verdict: "Powered by Tesla know-how, the Mercedes electric B-Class brings electric mobility to the compact MPV class for the first time. High on quality, long on range, and zero on emissions."
"The B-Class Electric Drive is our first volume production electric vehicle and it’s great for it to have won an award before it even reaches the UK. It’s practical, it’s ideal for families and it features all the very latest comfort, safety and entertainment technologies. The B-Class Electric Drive just happens to emit no emissions, be highly efficient and capable of travelling up 125-miles on a single charge."
COMMENDED: Toyota Mirai FCV – CO2: 0 g/km – NGC: TBC*
The fruits of extensive investment in fuel cell technology, Toyota are bringing the new Mirai (which mean ‘future’ in Japanese) to commercial reality, arriving in the UK in 2015. Powered by a 114 kW fuel cell stack, the Mirai is capable of 0 to 60 mph in around 9 seconds, and drives like… well very much like a normal car. With a range per tank of over 300 miles, and a refuelling time under 5 minutes, this electric vehicle is unlikely to lead to any range anxiety. While UK pricing is still to be confirmed it’s likely to be around £43,500. The main barrier? The availability of hydrogen stations. But as the film script (almost) says, ‘build them and they will come’.