Mercedes-Benz plans to roll out a fully electric version of the B-Class luxury compact by early 2014, thanks to some help from the California-based start-up Tesla Motors.


Tesla, which has found itself in the middle of political controversies due to a $465 million low-interest loan from the U.S. Department of Energy, developed the 135-horsepower electric power plant that can get Mercedes' new compact moving from 0-60 mph in under 10 seconds.

The B-Class Electric Drive was unveiled Wednesday at the New York International Auto Show. Mercedes said the car has a range of 115 miles and charges to full capacity in about four hours.

"While others are still talking about electric cars, we are building them and selling them,” said Joachim Schmidt, executive vice president of Mercedes-Benz Cars. “We are truly committed to emissions-free driving, and providing this in a car that offers all the comfort, quality and safety of a Mercedes-Benz."

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