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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Mercedes, Smart to Sell Electric Cars in 2010

Over the last few months, several big car makers, including Nissan, Subaru and Mitsubishi, have announced plans to produce all-electric cars before the end of the decade, or soon after. Now Daimler has announced that it to plans to jump on the growing EV bandwagon, with plans to roll-out a Mercedes-Benz electric car in 2010. According to Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche, the company also plans to offer an electric Smart car in the same year. At this stage, it’s unclear whether the cars will be based on an existing model, or on a completely new platform. If the former, it’s likely that the Mercedes EV will be based on either an A-Class or B-Class, as is the case with their fuel-cell prototype (pictured below).

As far as the Smart model goes, there is currently a fleet of 100 first-generation Smart electric cars running in London, and it’s a fair bet that the new cars will be at least roughly based on these.

No decision has been made regarding the price for the EV models. According to Zetsche, “That depends on whether we sell the batteries with the car or lease them. The willingness (on the part of consumers) to pay more is limited.”

The company is also in talks with Shai Agassi’s Project Better Place regarding his plans to introduce large scale EV recharging infrastructures at several locations across the world.

Original here

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