Since inventing the car in 1886 and developing its first electric car in 1906, Mercedes-Benz has built a legacy by embracing the future while helping shape it. As this video shows, the legacy continues with the 2014 B-Class Electric Drive.

More than just a gasoline alternative, the B-Class Electric Drive was intended to be a roomy, versatile alternative to standard electric vehicles. In other words, it was designed to provide the type of look, feel and driving performance Mercedes-Benz enthusiasts have come to expect.

A bold front grill bolsters the look of the B-Class Electric Drive, as do the headlights that extend into the sides of the vehicle, the wide rear window and the striking bumpers. The inclusion of LED daytime running lamps gives the vehicle an extra touch of elegance.

While the package is undoubtedly nice to look at, it’s what’s under the wrapping that proves to be the real present. Powered by a 177 horsepower electric AC induction motor delivering 251 lb-ft of torque, the B-Class Electric Drive can accelerate from zero to 60 in just 7.9 seconds and hit a top speed of 100 mph.

An optional regenerative braking system, an EV first, uses a radar sensor to monitor the traffic ahead and adapt the brakes accordingly to recapture the optimal amount of energy. Steering wheel-mounted paddle switches are included to allow manual control of recuperation.

Mercedes-Benz was the first to bring the lithium-ion battery to the market and the B-Class Electric Drive features one that is easily rechargeable using a standard 120-volt outlet. To simplify at-home-charging, customers can purchase a Level 2 charging station for both indoor and outdoor use. The charging time for 60 miles can be less than two hours and a full charge provides an estimated EPA range of up to 87 miles. There’s also a built-in battery warmer that negates the fear of the battery freezing in cold weather.

In the interest of space-saving and safety, the battery is located under the cabin floor in what’s called the “energy space,” which also gives the vehicle a lower center of gravity that contributes to the vehicle’s smooth, emissions-free ride.

The four-door B-Class Electric Drive utilizes that saved space by providing a comfortable cabin that can seat five, and a spacious cargo area. The interior includes chrome detailing, large, round air vents, leather upholstery, and other high-quality finishing you’d expect in a Mercedes-Benz vehicle.

The eye-catching display screen helps you stay connected to the world from the road with a collection of Internet-based apps. The B-Class Electric Drive utilizes mbrace2 technology, which allows you to monitor charge levels, check vehicle range, send directions, and even preset climate controls from a compatible smartphone, tablet or computer.

Unsurprisingly, another area where the B-Class Electric Drive doesn’t cut corners is safety. With Collision Prevention Assist, a radar-based collision warning system, drivers are alerted to potential collisions by a visual and acoustic alarm. Sensors can detect the distance and speed of vehicles ahead and adjust accordingly with adaptive brake support. Other innovative safety features include Blind Spot Assist, which alerts you to a vehicle in your blind spot, Attention Assist, which can detect certain steering corrections that suggest the onset of drowsiness, and Active Parking Assist, which helps you maneuver into spaces with precision.

With its innovative technology and attention to detail, the B-Class Electric drive just may be the perfect marriage of luxury and eco-conscious driving. Learn more at