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Mercedes electrifies A-Class, B-Class with plug-in power

Mercedes-Benz reveals A250e and B250e plug-in electric vehicles which will go on-sale in Europe soon, but there’s no word on whether they’ll come to Australia.

Mercedes-Benz has unveiled electrified versions of its new A-Class hatch and sedan, and the small but capacious B-Class overnight. Both vehicles are badged ‘250e’, denoting the equivalent plug-in hybrid electric version of the petrol-only 250.

Employing the same 1.3-litre turbo four-cylinder petrol engine upfront, the electric motor residise inside the eight-speed automatic transmission. Producing a mild 75kW and impressive 300Nm, the electric motor combines with the combustion engine to produce a total output of 160kW and 450Nm at the front-wheels.

Mercedes-Benz reveals plug-in electric B250e and A2503

Though the addition of a 15.6kWh water-cooled battery underneath the rear seat adds 150kg to the vehicle’s mass, acceleration is spritely, returning a 0-100km/h claim of 6.6 seconds. The battery’s position helps keep boot space close to that of non-hybrid models, and the exhaust’s ‘exhaust central end’ design, which puts the exhaust end near the centre of the car, allows the batteries to be set low.

Merc says the hybrid system connects with navigation data, traffic information and speed limit recognition to optimise when the electric system is in use, and it all helps to return a frugal combined fuel consumption claim of 1.4L/100km. But it can be overridden to drive as a fully-electric vehicle, providing around 65km pure-electric driving range – quoted on the more accurate WLTP rating.

Charging times are relatively efficient too, with a 7.4kW home wall-box system able to charge the battery from 10 per cent charge to capacity in under two hours, and a commercial DC fast charger topping the battery from 10 to 80 per cent in under half an hour.

While the new 250e variants should feel mostly like the 250 trim models, changes include charging station location data on the twin MBUX display screens, and the paddle shifters will control regenerative braking modes.

Mercedes-Benz will launch the A250e and B250e in Europe later this year while the Australian arm is yet to confirm if they will arrive Down Under – though with Benz planning to introduce 10 plug-in hybrids across the next decade, we fully expect at least some of those models to make it here.

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Practical Motoring

Practical Motoring