Electric cars like Tesla Motors Inc NASDAQ:TSLA’s Model S tend to get lumped into a single category with all the other electric cars, but that’s really not fair, as one Washington Post reporter found out. Vivek Wadhwa declared himself a “Tesla fanboy” last year, saying that he just couldn’t drive his Mercedes-Benz any longer because it felt old. However, he had a whole new experience when he drove the new Mercedes-Benz B-class electric car.
Tesla versus Mercedes-Benz
At first, he didn’t think there was much point because he thought Tesla’s Model S just couldn’t be beaten. However, after taking the Mercedes-Benz electric for a drive, he realized that comparing the two cars to each other was like comparing apples to oranges—it just can’t be done. The two cars address entirely different segments of the electric car market in a manner that’s no different than how a Mercedes-Benz gas-powered car doesn’t compete with one of Ford Motor Company NYSE:F’s gas-powered trucks.
Mercedes’ electric car feels “slow and small”
According to Wadhwa, he found the Mercedes electric car to be much smaller than the Tesla Motors Inc NASDAQ:TSLA Model S. It didn’t have the high torque or acceleration and was rather “slow and small,” in his words. However, he said that the car was actually “great” for a small car.
It’s just as quiet as the Tesla Model S, although it’s less expensive, starting out at $41,450, compared to Tesla’s $69,900 starting price. He notes that the Tesla comes with a lot more, of course, like double the range on the battery, a dashboard that’s connected to the internet, and a warranty that lasts for eight years and unlimited miles within that time frame. He added that the Mercedes, however, has “its own old-world elegance.”
Mercedes-Benz tops small car electrics
The reviewer has also driven the Nissan Leaf, the Chevy Volt and the electric Toyota Prius, and he says that within the small car class, the Mercedes-Benz electric beats them all. It’s also approximately $10,000 more expensive than the other cars. He thinks it is the Mercedes-Benz he has ever driven, particularly because the engine is quiet and that the regenerative breaking system offers “excellent control.” He also notes that Tesla Motors makes the B-class motor and the battery technology that’s in the car.