I acquired my electric drive, Mercedes B-Class (not included on your list in “Fuel-efficient cars: Lean, green driving,” Aug. 5) on April 29 and since then have driven 1,870 miles at zero cost with negative emissions. The reason, of course, is that our solar panels produce more electricity than we use.
The article cites range as a downside, and indeed the 28 kWh Mercedes battery has an estimated range of 87 miles. However, unlike the other cars on your list, it has the capacity to extend the capacity to 31.5 kWh.
I have not tested the outside limits, but the other day, I drove 67 miles, including Cuesta Grade, and used only 57 percent of capacity. This would indicate perhaps a top range of 115 to 120 miles. The article says that “electric cars can be fun to drive,” and the B-Class in S mode attests strongly to that.
Federal and state subsidies made the cost of the car very appealing, and the manufacturer’s incentives offered by our local Mercedes dealer made leasing the car a “nobrainer.” The only downside is that I want to drive the car everywhere we go locally, and this would cause me to exceed the mileage limits of my lease.