Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive in New York 2013 (Word Premiere at NYIAS 2013)

Just as Tesla did with Toyota’s limited-market RAV4 EV, it has collaborated on the powertrain development with the first EV to be launched in the U.S. by the brand with the silver star.

Based on a small SUV available with conventional powertrains in Europe, the not-yet-priced B-Class will be only available as an all-electric in the U.S.

“This vehicle will be low-volume, but creates a new niche for small crossovers which are strong globally and may increase their presence in the U.S. with this product,” said Baum.

Range for the 134-horsepower EV is estimated at around 115 miles, and top speed is 100 mph. Mercedes-Benz promises the full M-B driving experience with gads of safety innovation and convenience features.

Like the BMW i3, this is a significant first from a premier German automaker, and a positive portent for more to follow.