11/5/13

Daimler Wants to Deepen Cooperation with Tesla Motors


Daimler AG, the maker of Mercedes-Benz luxury vehicles, would like to expand its cooperation with electric car manufacturer Tesla Motors, a high-ranking Daimler executive told Reuters.

“I told my guys, go back to Tesla and look for other opportunities to work together", said Bodo Uebber, Daimler's chief financial officer. “We want to look for more cooperation,” he added.

Tesla is currently supplying electric motors and batteries to Daimler for its Smart ForTwo EV and the new Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive that will go on sale in 2014 in the U.S. and Europe. Uebber said Daimler could use more from Tesla, but didn’t provide details. Daimler AG holds a 4.3 percent stake in Tesla, which also supplies EV components to Toyota.

Maybe Mercedes-Benz is feeling the pressure from BMW’s new i sub-brand, which has rolled out two new electrified models, the i3 city car and the i8 plug-in hybrid sports car.

The B-Class Electric Drive is powered by an electric motor generating more than 100 kW (134 HP) and 310 Nm (228.6 lb-ft) of peak torque. It covers the 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) sprint in “considerably less than 10 seconds,” according to Mercedes-Benz, and has a limited top speed of 100 mph (160 km/h). Driving range is estimated at 200 km (115 miles).

The electric B-Class can be recharged at any standard household power socket, with charging time for a range of about 60 miles (96 km) standing at less than 2 hours at 240V/40A in the USA (1.5 hours at 400V in Europe).

By Dan Mihalascu


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