German car magazine auto motor und sport tested the new VW e-Golf up against Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive and BMW i3.
Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive combine the van body with the excellent propulsion borrowed from Tesla. The asyncron electric engine from Tesla S delivers 180 HP and 340 Nm, which makes the B-Class Electric Drive more powerful than the syncron engines used by BMW i3 and VW e-Golf.
The 28 kWh battery is placed in the front of the rear axle and provides more capacity than the batteries of the competitors. But Mercedes does not offer the Tesla option to charge the battery very quickly with a supercharger. The giant supercharger has a charging power of 120 kw and allows to charge the battery in only 5 minutes for a 100 km range. Still, Mercedes offers a Range Plus button which increase the range with around 30 kilometers.
With the battery placed in the rear, the floor was raised with around 4 centimeters and the passengers legs does not stay in the same comfortable position like in the conventional B-Class. And the sliding rear bench option was drop out. Despite all these restraints, five passengers travels comfortable and benefit of a generous luggage space with 501 liters. The acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h is done in 8.1 seconds, only 0.4 seconds slower than the lighter i3.
Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive sets the standards for dynamic behavior in this comparison. With its 18 inch wheels, B-Class Electric Drive is agile and pleasant to drive despite an unexcited steering. If electric cars are already expensive, they should at least be fun to drive and that is exactly what Mercedes is.
If you press a button, you can reduce the power from 132 kw to 98 kw or 65 Kw and activate the recuperation energy based on radar. The system has the same function like in the Mercedes S 500 Plug-In Hybrid. Based on radar technology, two things come about: if the car at the front does not reduce speed, then the radar system stops the Otto engine and disengages from the transmission, as the car goes into the “sailing” function and if the vehicle at the front reduces speed, than the radar system activates the braking and the energy is recovered.
With this technology, Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive managed to reach a range of 183 km, the best result in this comparison test.
BMW i3 does things differently: rather than convert an existing car into a battery powered car, the engineers had started from ground zero into developing an optimized e-mobile.
The Drive modul made from aluminium carries the battery and the engine mounted on the rear axle, while the Life Modul made from CFRP (carbon fiber reinforced plastic) is dedicated to the passenger cell. With this very light structure, BMW i3 is 503 kilograms lighter than Mercedes and 264 kg lighter than e-Golf.
On the other hand, BMW i3 is one class below with a length of 3.99 meters. With the B-pillar missing and rear doors opened in the opposite direction, BMW i3 offers a very good access but the rear space is narrow and the rear bench is smaller.
But the lightweight construction does not have big advantages. Energy consumption of 13.6 kWh is at the same level with VW Golf, while the heavier Mercedes needs 14.6 kWh. And Mercedes is as dynamic as BMW and the bigger battery allows a much longer range despite the higher consumption.
VW e-Golf uses the same receipt like Mercedes. An existing car was modified for the electric propulsion. Financially, is a logical step for two reasons. Nobody knows what will be the demand for the e-Golf and both cars – the conventional car and the electric version – could be assembled on the same production line.
e-Golf preserves from his brother the supple ride comfort, the flawless quality perception and the very good ergonomics. And with multiple energy recuperation stages, e-Golf manage to reach a maximum range of 178 km. With only 115 HP, e-Golf is more lazy than its competitors and the low resistance tyres affect the agility.
But the Golf is 4,000 euro cheaper than Mercedes and offers better standard equipment with navigation and LED lights.
Who understand german language, could read the full article here. on auto-motor-und-sport.de website.
|Model||BMW i3||Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive||VW e-Golf|
|Engine||syncron electric engine||asyncron electric engine||syncron electric engine|
|Max. output (HP)||170||180||115|
|Max. torque (Nm)||250||340||270|
|Transmisssion||rear wheel drive||front wheel drive||front wheel drive|
|Gearbox||one speed||one speed||one speed|
|Kerbweight/max load (kg)||1,266/354||1,769/401||1,530/430|
|Boot volume (l)||260/1,100||501/1,456||341/1,231|
|Maximum speed (km/h)||150||160||140|
|Acceleration 0-80 km/h (s)||5.4||5.5||7.1|
|0-100 km/h (s)||7.7||8.1||10.9|
|0 -130 km/h (s)||13.7||13.6||19.4|
|Energy consumption (kWh)||12.9||16.6||12.7|
|Measured Energy consumption (kWh)||13.6||14.5||13.7|
|Measured range (km)||151||183||178|
|Charging time 230V/400V (h)||6-8/3-6||9/2.4 (from 20% to 100%)||6-9/2 (11 kW)|
|Price (euro with VAT, DE)||34,950||39,151||34,900|