The race for the coolest electric vehicle in the United States just heated up a little as Mercedes-Benz’s Head of Sales and Marketing Joachim Schmidt just announced that a US-only range-extended B-Class E-Cell Plus electric vehicle will hit the roads in 2013. Automotive News caught the scoop at the Detroit Auto Show, and it seems that this new EV release will be a part of Mercedes-Benz’ plan to increase U.S. sales by 20% by bringing four new compact cars to market.
With its compact size and extended range, the B-Class E-Cell Plus will compete directly with the Chevrolet Volt and most likely the incoming Ford Fusion Energi. If it is anything like the concept unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show, it will have an impressive electric-only range of about 62 miles — the Volt’s electric-only range is 32 miles — and an extended range with combined gasoline and electric of about 375 miles.
Last year, for the first time ever, BMW outsold Mercedes by about 2,700 vehicles to claim the top luxury car manufacturer in the United States. Mercedes is set on reclaiming their throne and it looks like with the impending release of a new A-Class, the new B-Class a compact SUV and a coup they’re aiming to do that with a pint-sized line-up that can claim great gas mileage for an American driver.