oilerlord
Posts: 125
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2016 9:47 pm

B250 Owner's reliability experiences

Thu Apr 21, 2016 12:12 pm

Hello everyone.

After months of EV research, I've run the gauntlet of Spark, Focus Electric, and have finally decided that the B250ED makes the most sense for us. I've found a low mileage 2014 with under 5K miles with all the recalls up to date. I can't believe that used EV's are available at 50% off of original MSRP. Seems like such an incredible value. I'm not too concerned about range as we have a second ICE car in the garage for longer trips.

The Tesla battery / powertrain was the biggest reason I went with the Mercedes. I like that it conservatively uses only 28kWh out of the 36kWh pack, and along with Tesla's famous battery cooling & management, I'm hoping the battery lasts well beyond 50,000 miles with only minor degradation. I'd like to hear from owners that are into their second year of ownership, and with higher mileages on their B's:

- What issues have you had thus far?
- About what % battery degradation have you experienced thus far.
- Based on your experience, would you buy this car again?

Thanks!

wtzouris
Posts: 340
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2014 9:44 pm

Re: B250 Owner's reliability experiences

Thu Apr 21, 2016 12:39 pm

I love my 2014 B-Class ED. 16k miles, no issues.
I am on a 3 year/36k mile lease
No battery degradation, range is 68 miles in winter storms, 110 miles in summer.
Worst ever was 62 miles on range charge driving in a blizzard.
Pre-conditioning helps in winter, but I won't drive without cabin heating. And you cannot turn off the battery heater.
My buyout is $20k after the lease is over -- would I buy it? Yes, but only if I had a guaranteed bullet proof warranty /service plan to 100k miles or more.
I do not like the service department at Mercedes.

I have a Tesla Model 3 on order, but I would consider the Mercedes ELC (successor to this car)
if Mercedes did the following:

Double the range (larger battery)
DCFC should be added/included
Sunroof?
All electric heat/AC something more efficient for winter. The cooling system is superb.
AWD option - dual motors.
Fun to drive/fast
Good storage/utility

oilerlord
Posts: 125
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2016 9:47 pm

Re: B250 Owner's reliability experiences

Thu Apr 21, 2016 12:52 pm

wtzouris wrote:I love my 2014 B-Class ED. 16k miles, no issues.
I am on a 3 year/36k mile lease
No battery degradation, range is 68 miles in winter storms, 110 miles in summer.
Worst ever was 62 miles on range charge driving in a blizzard.
Pre-conditioning helps in winter, but I won't drive without cabin heating. And you cannot turn off the battery heater.
My buyout is $20k after the lease is over -- would I buy it? Yes, but only if I had a guaranteed bullet proof warranty /service plan to 100k miles or more.
I do not like the service department at Mercedes.

I have a Tesla Model 3 on order, but I would consider the Mercedes ELC (successor to this car)
if Mercedes did the following:

Double the range (larger battery)
DCFC should be added/included
Sunroof?
All electric heat/AC something more efficient for winter. The cooling system is superb.
AWD option - dual motors.
Fun to drive/fast
Good storage/utility
Thanks for that.

I live in Canada, and though I'd be parking the car in our heated garage; I'd be driving in some bitterly cold days in winter. I'm looking into installing a a generic diesel hydronic heater. Several EV owners have installed them and it might be possible to do this in a B-Class. These $600 heaters are remarkably efficient, (relatively) easy to install, and use very little fuel.

wtzouris
Posts: 340
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2014 9:44 pm

Re: B250 Owner's reliability experiences

Thu Apr 21, 2016 4:26 pm

I wouldn't bother with the diesel hydronic heater. Really. Because you can basically run a seat heater and the heated windshield and everything gets warm (fan speed on 1) except the foot box, which is freezing. So If someone can figure out how to heat the foot area it would be great. Here is the bigger issue. The car has a battery heating/cooling system that cannot be adjusted. So in cold weather you are burning thousands of watts to keep that battery cozy. I think the issue of winter range is related to the inefficiency of that system. That's what a lot of the plumbing under the front hood is for. I would be really crazy about the car if it had 50-100% more battery.. and DCFC.. and a sunroof.

oilerlord
Posts: 125
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2016 9:47 pm

Re: B250 Owner's reliability experiences

Thu Apr 21, 2016 4:59 pm

wtzouris wrote:I wouldn't bother with the diesel hydronic heater. Really. Because you can basically run a seat heater and the heated windshield and everything gets warm (fan speed on 1) except the foot box, which is freezing. So If someone can figure out how to heat the foot area it would be great. Here is the bigger issue. The car has a battery heating/cooling system that cannot be adjusted. So in cold weather you are burning thousands of watts to keep that battery cozy. I think the issue of winter range is related to the inefficiency of that system. That's what a lot of the plumbing under the front hood is for. I would be really crazy about the car if it had 50-100% more battery.. and DCFC.. and a sunroof.
When I mentioned bitter cold...I meant it. We're talking about -20C. The heater solves two problems, one being able to heat the cabin quickly and efficiently, the other heating the battery preserving range instead of siphoning power from the battery to heat anything. Of course, I'd have to do more research because the last thing I'd want to do is cook the battery. A guy in Wisconsin installed a heater in his i-MiEV with great results. I helped a friend install one in his Jetta TDI, it truly is the "must have" accessory for northern climates. I'm hoping this is possible with a B250e but the last thing I'd want to do is cook the battery. No doubt I'd run into warranty issues.

DCFC and chademo aren't important to me as we don't have quick charging within 1000 miles of where I live. I do have 9.2 kW of solar, and a 7.7kW EVSE installed at home.

GGV
Posts: 43
Joined: Fri May 29, 2015 4:08 pm
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: B250 Owner's reliability experiences

Fri Apr 22, 2016 2:19 pm

I have 2015 model (10month+, 11K miles) and mostly pleased:
Fun to drive (powerful, smooth, immediate response, comfortable seats, pretty large lcd screen - useful for back-up camera)
Roomy, carry heavy load (recently carried 360lb of bagged gravel from HomeDepot) - no diff in handling.
Small turning radius.
No battery degradation.
Issues:
1. Software recalls
2. Flimsy interior - my started to rattle on concrete blocks pavement
3. Winter (negative) surprise - loss of 1/3 range: ~70miles vs 110-115 in summer

I'll be looking for longer range EV when my lease in over (and try to be in budget of 30K-40K - as this one). Hope the choice won't be limited by tesla3 and bolt only.

wtzouris
Posts: 340
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2014 9:44 pm

Re: B250 Owner's reliability experiences

Sat Apr 23, 2016 4:40 am

So is the hydronic heater plumbed into the car? Does it have it's own pump to circulate heat around the battery? I know what you mean about bitter cold, there are some people driving the B250e in Sweden and Norway. (I'm pretty sure they drive 30-40 miles and plug in at work!)

oilerlord
Posts: 125
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2016 9:47 pm

Re: B250 Owner's reliability experiences

Sat Apr 23, 2016 9:58 am

The heater taps into the cabin coolant line. The heater's pump heats the coolant and circulates it back into the cabin heater reservoir, so the EV's inefficient resistive heater doesn't have to work as hard (or at all) when the cabin calls for heat. Not only does it preserve range in winter, but when you turn on the heat; the air coming out of the vents is hot almost instantly. You can even buy these with a GSM relay where you can send a text to the car to turn it on and off.

Here's a video in a series of an EV owner installing one in his I-MiEV:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcPIHZE3mn0

wtzouris
Posts: 340
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2014 9:44 pm

Re: B250 Owner's reliability experiences

Sun Apr 24, 2016 6:09 am

That is very cool. I wonder if you could effectively get 20-25 miles back in winter range by doing this -- you will certainly be more comfortable. It is so cold in Canada I can't imagine using an EV that is parked outside all day and getting reasonable range. It's just a lot of work to make a 36kWh car do the job -- wouldn't it be easier to buy/ wait for a 60 kWh EV like the Chevy Bolt, Tesla Model S (used) , or 2018 Nissan Leaf, or 2019 Tesla Model 3. (I know some of those cars are NOT actual choices) but just saying...

wtzouris
Posts: 340
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2014 9:44 pm

Re: B250 Owner's reliability experiences

Sun Apr 24, 2016 6:23 am

WAIT are you getting the 2014 B-Class with the $600 range package? Because you will be disappointed if you don't get that. I don't know if it is psychological but that extra 12 miles of range (6 in winter) really helps and it is not going to degrade your battery to use it a lot, especially in cold weather -- the risk is using it too much in hot weather. You may be as little as 55 miles range in extreme conditions on regular (80%) charge.

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