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Back in January 2020 my wife picked up a 3yr old B250e as the 2nd owner. It was an opportunity for her to try out an EV for which I am very grateful, as for me it's been both interesting and educational.



Sadly the lack of range quickly made its presence felt and on a number of occasions both she and I had some very stressful journeys due to road diversions and/or failed public charging points. Special mention for the Pod Point ones at Godalming Sainsbury's which would often have half the posts out of order.



More importantly there was usually at least one instance a month where one of us wanted to make a return trip of 100 miles and we just didn't trust it to make it without needing to stop and charge. Often that would be a visit to see friends where there weren't any pubic charging facilities nearby that we could tap in to and with two small children the idea of hanging around a motorway services for 2 hours simply wasn't an option. The lack of range I knew about when we bought it, but you never truly understand the impact of these things until you have to live with it. More recently of course it hasn't been used as much and so when my father in law expressed an interest in buying it, we took the chance to move it on and he took it away on Sunday.

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As a car I really liked it. The ride wasn't as comfortable as the reviews had led me to believe and I never did get the pre-heat to work. The range extender was OK, but the fact that you couldn't tell if it had worked successfully was a real miss in my opinion. I never had a problem with the fuel flap as others seem to but it did seem to be very hard on its tyres despite running with the correct pressures and regularly monitoring them.

Since it's a relatively unknown EV outside of these circles I've put together a YouTube video about our ownership experience. Do take a look if you have the opportunity.


Thanks to those who answered my queries before purchase and during our ownership - this is a great resource and long may it continue. I also enjoyed the one meeting of Surrey EVs that I attended before lockdown and a chance to see some other EVs and chat with their owners.

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I do still think there's a very long way to go before EVs gain general acceptance but I am glad to have been part of the journey. For now though, we have reverted back to petrol and I doubt we'll be back in an EV as one of our primary cars for at least another 5 years and/or until somebody makes an EV saloon in the size of a A4/C-Class with a reliable 300 miles of range.
 

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I still have pangs seeing the white paint, Halfords-esque decals and that silly pink windscreen, though @Panda successfully disabused me of the notion it was a car I should have kept. As you say, the range is miniscule, reducing to almost nothing in winter, and the ride could have been a lot nicer.

I do however remember it fondly for its turn of speed and the fact it was surprisingly roomy: seats down could get most things in the back, and with seats up could get all three kids and the dog onboard. Additionally, every Benz I've owned since the 70s has retained a familiarity of function for e.g. for cruise control, which I still reckon has no equal in terms of ease of use, so it was always a complete cinch to drive. Ditto the company Vito.

Incidentally, I too could never get preheat to work and to cap it all the blasted thing broke down. Oh, and Mercedes Me was terrible. Successfully put me off getting another Mercedes. Manufacturers still don't seem to get that, these days, a poor app experience translates to lost customers.
 

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With respect, that really wasn't an EV to buy for any type of long distance journey. With max 11kW charging it is a car for local use. We had a B250e for 7 months but didn't get it expecting to do long journeys - we had the Ampera at the time to do those. In the end we did some "medium" journeys in the B250e as we wanted to use up some of the lease miles and avoid adding more miles to the Ampera. We tried to find 22kW posts and avoid hogging rapids at 11kW and found the one at Resort World near NEC particularly useful.

The OH wasn't keen on getting a MB as had lots of problems with an SK250 a few years previously and poor (condescending) service from the dealership, but the deal on the B250e for 7 months was too attractive! However our B250e also broke down (in an underground car park in London) and the service from MB was shocking. It made the OH even more determined she would never buy a MB in future!

IMO, subject to budget, EVs are perfectly viable today for most people as a primary car. For longer journeys we have the Model 3 LR and for those up to 3 hours (e.g. to Doncaster) we don't stop. For longer journeys (e.g. to North Wales) we like to stop and take a break for lunch or similar irrespective of the car. In the Tesla we often stop at a supercharger as we have a lot of free miles, but even on 50kW charging we don't find taking a break a problem .
 
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I found the video and conclusion a bit disheartening to be honest...it feels like you / your wife has practically discounted EVs for the next 9 years or so due to the fact that you unfortunately chose a car that probably wasn’t really suited to your needs. Obviously I don’t know what the budget for the next car is, but if it’s brand new, big enough for a family and possibly also from a premium brand, I’m guessing it’s not too far off £30k. In which case, there are several EVs that are much, much better than the B250e that could be a very viable option, and much more suited to your / your wife’s requirements.
 

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Breaking down and then wanting to strangle the dealer when they fail to give a crap has become de rigueur for all premium brands
It was awful. We broke down at 6pm and eventually got home in taxi (which at least they paid for) at 2am! I also had to go all the way back to London next day with the key!
 

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Breaking down and then wanting to strangle the dealer when they fail to give a crap has become de rigueur for all premium brands
Yep, BMW, Jag, Land Rover, MB and Audi all in the bottom 6 of the JD Power reliability survey.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I found the video and conclusion a bit disheartening to be honest...it feels like you / your wife has practically discounted EVs for the next 9 years or so due to the fact that you unfortunately chose a car that probably wasn’t really suited to your needs. Obviously I don’t know what the budget for the next car is, but if it’s brand new, big enough for a family and possibly also from a premium brand, I’m guessing it’s not too far off £30k. In which case, there are several EVs that are much, much better than the B250e that could be a very viable option, and much more suited to your / your wife’s requirements.
Firstly, thanks for watching the video. I only started recently and I'm doing it for interest rather than any material gain, but every view helps.

You are right in that the figure being discussed for a replacement is £35k. She misses the elevated driving position of her Q5 so I imagine a 2.0 petrol VW Tiguan or Audi Q3. There was talk of a 2nd hand Macan but that figure only buys you a 5 yr old one and I suspect she'd prefer something newer.

Whilst I am sure there are some EV options at that price point, there is simply no compelling reason for her to buy one. The B250e didn't drive better than her Q5, nor was it more comfortable while having all the trials and tribulations of range, charging and so on. While I am sure she has saved a bit of money running electric for a year, she has sufficient finances that she hasn't noticed it. Funnily enough, while in an ICE world she covers her own fuel costs but in an EV world I effectively pay half as it's all lumped in with our total electricity bill and I haven't noticed that either.

Perhaps, more importantly she is not an enthusiast and doesn't want to spend time planning routes that take in to account charging locations. Nor does she want to spend time at charging locations, whether using rapids or not, she just wants to get home. And she absolutely sees no benefit in being able to punch it off the lights up to 60mph in sub 6 seconds. She just wants a car that looks smart, drives nicely and causes her no operational constraints and a petrol powered mid-sized SUV does that for her. It may cost a little more to tax and service, but that's fine because the convenience is more important.

I have no evidence but I suspect that she better represents what the average person thinks than people like us who talk about EVs on forums in the same way that there are some people out there using classic cars as daily drivers (with all the cost benefits) but the vast majority of us drive modern cars because we don't want the compromise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Breaking down and then wanting to strangle the dealer when they fail to give a crap has become de rigueur for all premium brands
It was awful. We broke down at 6pm and eventually got home in taxi (which at least they paid for) at 2am! I also had to go all the way back to London next day with the key!
Yep, BMW, Jag, Land Rover, MB and Audi all in the bottom 6 of the JD Power reliability survey.
This is interesting because in the last six years we have had 3 Mercedes and 2 Audis between us and universally across the board our local dealers have been excellent. You have to manage them a bit during service time to make sure they don't replace stuff that isn't due but that's not unusual. We both have previously had BMWs though and our local dealer wasn't very good at all and was one of the reasons I jumped to Mercedes at the time.
 

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That’s fair enough. I suppose it demonstrates that there’s still quite a way to go in terms of reaching the point where a majority of people place their impact on local air quality and carbon emissions higher up their list of considerations — or even just on it at all. Perhaps that day will never come, and truly mass adoption won’t happen until it simply isn’t possible to buy a reasonably new car with an ICE.

I do still have an inkling though that if she hadn’t have had the Mercedes, and instead was now looking for a first EV, with £35k to spend, that in a year’s time she would feel differently than she does now. In a sense, I wonder if having the Mercedes did more harm than good — it may have put her off EVs for the foreseeable future, perhaps until there is no real choice but to have one. So in a sense, a fairly poor experience after a year in what is objectively a fairly poor EV may be followed by several years in ICE cars, whereas last year in an ICE car followed by a first EV experience this year in a £35k EV may have been followed by several more happy years in EVs.

It’s a little similar to the G-Wiz situation — where a few people driving around in objectively terrible EVs probably thought they were doing a good thing for the environment, when in all liklihood, the very existence of the abomination that was the G-Wiz probably set back the eventual mass adoption of EVs by a few years!
 

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Good point @Bill N but after the B Class my OH bought a Model S in USA in December 2016 and did a reservation on a Model 3 for UK in early 2017. The B Class reinforced her benchmark of 200+ mile range and reliable, fast charging. Back then Tesla was the only option and probably still is with regards to charging. Maybe 2022 will see 3rd party charging become more available and reliable, but we have been saying that for a few years!
 
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I do still think there's a very long way to go before EVs gain general acceptance but I am glad to have been part of the journey. For now though, we have reverted back to petrol and I doubt we'll be back in an EV as one of our primary cars for at least another 5 years and/or until somebody makes an EV saloon in the size of a A4/C-Class with a reliable 300 miles of range.
If you settle for 264 miles the EQA is already available New 2021 Mercedes EQA electric SUV on sale in the UK with 263-mile range | Auto Express in the UK for £40,495 , looks like those 5 years turned to 5 days 😀

The B250e's were undermined by Mercedes from the start, not really meant to be more than a testing prototype, it's for real hardcore EV fiends with the small battery and no fast charging, I've been using one as a daily driver but for never take it on the motorway.
 

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The one model of EQA looks comparatively slow and, as usual, all the PR photos miss out the most crucial aspect of a taller, boxier, hold-all sort of family car: rear seats and boot.

Can you see them?

People rag on Tesla for a perceived lack of rear seat room in the 3 and the Y but £5 says the EQA is worse
 
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