Get this: Mercedes-Benz’s online configurator offers a $600 option to boost efficiency, thus range, and one of these is 8 kilowatt-hours of battery power held as reserve.
In other words, found Autoblog Green, the electric drive B-class actually has a 36 kwh battery, and the company’s option lets the owner charge up and use more than a nominal 28 kwh, for about 17 miles worth of more range, or 104 total.
“A suite of options to further increase your driving range includes added insulation of the doors and roof for to increase climate-control efficiency, along with an electrically heated windshield and a range-extending charge function,” says the company.
Standard EPA-rated range is 87 miles, which the company thinks is enough for most day to day needs, but owners wanting more may via the “range-extending charge function” opt for another charging mode which fills up the remaining 8-kwh for the total of 36 kwh.
“By pressing a button on the console prior to charging, the maximum charge level for battery will increased for the next charge cycle. The higher-capacity charge can provide up to 17 additional miles of range,” says the company.
Mercedes-Benz USA product and technology communications rep Terry Wei told Autoblog Green it will take an extra 1.5 to 2 hours to charge at between 24-40 amps to a higher “full” level.
“Basically what you are doing is using, early in life, any excess capacity in the battery,” Wei said, so this practice’s effectiveness may decrease over time as the battery ages and loses capacity.
Doing it this way contrasts with cars like the Nissan Leaf which has a 24-kwh battery and lets you use a certain percentage and then it’s all over.
Then again it is similar in that a Leaf lets you charge to 80 percent or 100 percent. Thus, if you’re in the habit of charging the Leaf to 80 percent, and then one day put in 100 percent, it is like you found an extra 20 percent.
In theory at least, the M-B maybe able to retain its conservatively advertised 87 miles EPA range for more years of use than the Leaf which says 84.
Last year the EPA listed the Leaf range at an odd 90-percent level, but this year it and the company are back up to range with 100-percent charge.
Also, for $600, a “suite of options to further increase your driving range” includes increased door and roof insulation to improve climate-control efficiency, as well as an electrically heated windshield and a range-extending charge function.
If customers decide they need more, they can use another 8 kwh but this can reduce the battery’s lifespan of done often enough, so it’s recommended for use only now and then, not regularly.