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My friend Jim loves his 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric.

It only has 87 miles of range, but Jim estimates that about 70% of his family’s annual vehicle miles are on the B-Class Electric. That’s why it was so disappointing when last year the motor started whining so severely that the car was nearly undrivable. To add insult to injury, the local Mercedes-Benz dealership quoted $18,000 to get it fixed by replacing the entire powertrain.

I felt somewhat responsible for Jim’s predicament. Jim spent his 30-year career at the Environmental Protection Agency before retiring a couple of years ago. I helped Jim think through his decision about getting an EV in late 2014. There weren’t many choices at the time. Ultimately, he was swayed by the style and comfort of the B-Class powered by a Tesla powertrain.


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