Mercedes-Benz has expanded its range of plug-in hybrid models with the addition of A and B-Class variants.

The new models join Mercedes’ plug-in  line-up that includes the C- and E-Class 300de, E 300e and S560e, with the firm saying it will offer more than 20 plug-in hybrid models by 2020.

Badged A250e and B250e respectively, the models use a 1.3-litre turbocharged petrol engine, combined with an electric motor to deliver a combined 218hp with CO2 emissions ranging from 32g/km.

A and B class plug-in

The A 250e is available in both hatchback and saloon body styles, with the latter offering the lowest emissions of 32g/km, although all versions sit in the same 16% BIK band, which will drop to 8% from April onwards, as the models have a claimed zero-emission range of 42 miles thanks to a 15.6kw battery that can be recharged in two hours.

Prices are expected to start at around £33,500 (based on a German RRP of 36,943 euros) for the A 250e hatchback when it goes on sale before the end of the year.

Explaining the rationale behind a plug-in hybrid push, Mercedes said: “Plug-in hybrids offer customers the best of both worlds: in town they run in all-electric mode, while on long journeys they benefit from the range of the combustion engine. They make the vehicle more efficient overall because they can firstly recover energy during braking and secondly allow the combustion engine to run in favourable operating ranges.”