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Mercedes-Benz B-Class to 'B' Discontinued in U.S.

CARS.COM — Mercedes-Benz will end production of the B-Class Electric Drive hatchback this year and instead will focus its electric efforts on its coming EQ brand of electrified vehicles.

Related: Mercedes Unveils First Concept for New EQ Electric Sub-Brand

A company spokesman confirmed to Automotive News (subscription required) that production of the all-electric B-Class Electric Drive for all markets worldwide, including the U.S., will end in Germany in the third quarter. It is the only Mercedes-Benz B-Class model sold in the U.S. Production of the conventional gasoline and diesel engine B-Class models sold elsewhere will continue.

U.S. sales for the Mercedes electric hatchback were small — just more than 3,500 since it went on the market in late 2013. It has just 87 miles of electric range, which is no longer competitive, and was fairly expensive, starting at $40,895 with shipping before incentives. But that was a base model to drive, and it could add up: A backup camera option is $460; heated seats are $580.

The B-Class Electric Drive also was not a stunner for looks. Tesla has shown, however, that well-off buyers will spend a lot for an electric vehicle that’s a true luxury car.

Mercedes’ electric efforts now shift to the EQ line of vehicles (which stands for “electric intelligence”). It unveiled a sleek EQ Generation concept car in Paris last year that got a U.S. debut in Detroit in January. Mercedes-Benz’s Dieter Zetsche has said a version of the concept car will be “the first of a whole new family” of 10 EQ vehicles by 2025. Production is to begin in 2019. The company envisions that EVs will be 15 percent to 25 percent of global sales by 2025.

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