Ladies, You Wanna Roll In My Eco-Friendly, 124-Mile Range Electric Mercedes?

By Benjamin Rowley

On their website,, pop rock group Millennium projects an image that is futuristic, edgy and difficult to classify. Now, it seems we must add 'socially conscious' to that list. With the recent release of their music video 'Wide Thing', the group flaunts its obsession with all things big. Yet, to more than the casual observer, the exact opposite message becomes apparent. The video is, in fact, a well-conceived artistic commentary on the super-size era. An era that, frankly, warrants a critical look.

Step outside your door this summer and you're likely to experience some of the hottest and most unbearable weather in recorded history. That's global warming- the issue that was ignored by millions of people purchasing large luxury SUV's and cruising around the past few decades. The 'Wide Thing' video begins with Millennium stepping out of a giant, gas guzzling Mercedes Benz to deliver the first chorus before cruising around aimlessly through fast food hell. They may as well be portraying millions of people innocently going about their daily routine for years, unwittingly bringing about the end of the world.

Curious to know the truth behind their video and where the group really stands on environmental issues, I decided to contact them. 'You're right about the meaning of the video. You might be the first person to get it.', jokes Stryker, singer and bassist for the group. 'We actually bought that same Mercedes model when our baby was born, concerned about safety and the need for cargo space (being musicians). I remember watching the fuel gauge visibly decrease while driving along. Two years later, in a momentary bout of sanity, we sold the car. We would think seriously about buying an electric car for everyday driving now.'

So what are some of the exciting new electric car options available for the environmentally-savvy? Here is the top ten list that I could gather from various company press releases. Knowing Millennium's penchant for big things, I made sure there was a healthy range of over-sized options:

    Tesla Model X
Likely to have similar numbers to the Tesla Model S and some wicked falcon-wing doors, the Model X is likely to sell well. Elon Musk, who is making $4.3 million on his contributions to Model X development, has said that it is going to be even better than previously announced. That might make up for the fact that its production was pushed back from the end of 2013 to the end of 2014 back in March 2013, something that must have disappointed the hundreds of people who reserved the crossover within just a few days of its reservation availability. Initial numbers for the Model X was 0–60 MPH in 4.4 seconds. That’s faster than the BMW i8 for less than half the price. The Model X will also have all-wheel drive, which the Model S doesn’t have. Price: $60,000
BMW i3

I know it’s no Tesla, but it’s still a freakin’ nice car. Here are few stats on the BMW i3: 0–60 MPH in around 7 seconds; very tight turning radius (under 11 yards / 10 meters); range of 81–100 miles (130–161 kilometers); a 10 on my smoothness rating. Technically, the i3 already launched in Europe at the end of 2013. Price: $41,350

Mercedes B Class

This beauty from Mercedes will come with a range of 124 miles (200 km) on a single charge. That’s a lot more than the average EV. It goes from 0 to 62 MPH (0 to 100 km/h) in a respectable 7.9 seconds. The car is supposed to hit the German market at the end of 2014. No word yet on when it will hit the US market. Price: TBA

Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid

The Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid actually replaces the the Porsche Panamera Hybrid. It is supposed to have an all-electric range of about 22 miles, not too bad for a PHEV. The car is supposed to have an estimated fuel economy rating of 53 MPG, despite a combined output of 416 horsepower, 435 ft-lbs of torque, and a 0–60 of 5.2 seconds. And it looks cool. Over the Porsche’s lifetime, the company intends to sell  about 10,000 vehicles. Price: $99,000 
Cadillac ELR

Technically, the first Cadillac ELRs started delivery in December, but we may as well say that the car is brand new in 2014. The Cadillac ELR comes with a hefty price tag, and many have said that it’s unwarranted given that the vehicle doesn’t compare to the less expensive Tesla Model S. But, for Cadillac lovers who want a luxurious plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, the Cadillac ELR looks nice. It has a respectable 35 miles of electric-only range, and, well, it’s a shiny Cadillac. Price: $75,000

Mitsubishi Outlander

Mitsubishi is in the doldrums in the U.S. market, with low sales and a range of vehicles that do little to capture the imagination. Perhaps the Outlander Plug-In Hybrid will change that, with more modern looks and a significantly greener powertrain than previous Outlanders. Under the hood there's a 2.0-liter gasoline engine, but twin 60-kilowatt electric motors--one for each axle--provide a healthy 245 pounds-feet of torque in electric-only mode. Electric range in EPA testing is unconfirmed, but based on the Japanese 35-mile estimate, we're expecting a more realistic 20-25 mile range. Once that's depleted, you still have the engine providing backup power--though the Outlander can operate in series or parallel hybrid modes too. Price: TBA
Nissan e-NV200

With trials going on in the UK, Barcelona (where it is also being manufactured), New York City, and Japan, this van is just getting going, but assuming no surprises in the trial programs, I think we’ll see a lot more of the e-NV200 being sold & delivered in 2014. It will definitely be sold in Japan in 2014, Nissan has announced. We’ll see about elsewhere. Price: TBA
Kia Soul EV

Reportedly 120+ miles per charge and just $35,000, this could be a real EV competitor. We’ll see what the final numbers turn out to be. Some reports are that the Kia Soul EV will hit the US market in 2014, while others are that it won’t hit the market until 2015, but deliveries in its home country of Korea are definitely scheduled for this year. And don’t expect that deliveries to other countries will take too long - Kia has an aim of making this the “the first electric vehicle for the global market.”  Price: TBA (perhaps around $35,000)
Volkswagen e-Golf

The Volkswagen e-Golf should be coming to the US market in 2014 (4th quarter). It made its North American debut at the LA Auto Show in November. Some early numbers for the e-Golf are: “25 mph from rest in 4.2 seconds and to get to 62 mph in approximately 10.4 seconds;” 70–90 average miles of range on a full charge; 115-horsepower electric motor; 199 pound-feet of torque. Price: TBA
Chevy Spark EV

Initially, I suspected the Chevy Spark EV to be one of the small but growing range of "compliance cars"- electric vehicles designed and built solely to meet California's requirements for electric vehicle sales. Thankfully, that isn't the case - Chevrolet is actually rather serious about the Spark EV, and as well as making it available beyond just west coast markets, they've thoroughly re-engineered the gasoline Spark for its new electric powertrain. The styling differences are subtle - some blue paint here, a Volt-style grille there - but under the skin it's a real wolf in sheep's clothing. A 110 kW (130 horsepower) electric motor gives it far more shove than the gasoline model, and its 400 pounds-feet torque output matches that of a Ferrari 458 Italia supercar. The Spark EV will go on sale in several U.S. markets, as well as Canada, South Korea and Europe. Price: $32,500 
Millennium's 'Wide Thing' music video:


December 12, 2017 @12:46 pm - Masharow
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