Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric

We're not sure how to translate "throwdown" in German, but Daimler executive Thomas Weber appears to have the concept down pat. Weber, who heads research and development at Daimler's Mercedes-Benz unit, tells Automotive News Europe that the B-Class Electric Drive will compare favorably to the BMW i3 - and pretty much anything powered by a battery – when it goes on sale next year.

Weber says the B-Class EV will have a real-world single-charge range of 125 miles as well as a top speed of 100 miles per hour. He also said the five-seat model would be "extremely competitive" on price, though he didn't elaborate enough to give a number. The B-Class EV debuts in the US next spring and will start sales in Europe next fall. No range extender is planned for the model. Mercedes-Benz unveiled the B-Class electric at the New York Auto Show in March. The automaker said at the time that the model would deliver 134 horsepower and 228 pound-feet of torque.

Weber also estimated that the Mercedes-Benz S 500 plug-in hybrid, which also becomes available to the public next year, would be able to achieve fuel economy of about 78 miles per gallon. Daimler also started selling its Smart ForTwo Electric in the US in May.