The summer arrival of the Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive will kick off a wave of alternative-fuel vehicles from the German automaker over the coming years that will include a plug-in hybrid S-Class and plug-in electric C-Class.
Details about the vehicles first came to light during an interview between the automaker's Uwe Ernstberger and Top Gear at the Geneva Motor Show. Christian Bokich, a spokesman for Mercedes-Benz USA, confirmed the lineup to Green Fleet Magazine.
"Mercedes-Benz believes that, for alternate propulsion systems to be adapted, consumers need to be able to choose a vehicle that is best suited for their driving environment," Bokich said. "We don't want to shoehorn everyone into a single technology just because it's more convenient for us."
The green-vehicle wave from the automaker begins in July with the arrival of the 2014 B-Class Electric Drive that will carry a $40,000 price tag. The B-Class will be introduced in the eight states with zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) mandates — California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, Oregon, and Vermont.
The automaker will introduce an S-Class plug-in hybrid in the first half of 2015 and a C-Class PHEV toward the end of that year. A C-Class four-cylinder BlueTEC is scheduled for 2016.