Tesla and Daimler

Starting in late 2007, Daimler and Tesla Motors began working closely to integrate Tesla’s lithium-ion battery packs and charging electronics into the first 1,000 units of Daimler’s electric smart car. The two companies are expected to collaborate further, including working together on the Tesla Model S sedan. The collaboration is not expected to result in co-branded cars or the sale of Mercedes vehicles in Tesla showrooms, or vice-versa.

On May 19, 2009, Germany’s Daimler AG, maker of Mercedes, acquired an equity stake of less than 10% in Tesla for a reported US$50 million. As part of the collaboration, Prof. Herbert Kohler, Vice President E-Drive and Future Mobility at Daimler AG, took a seat on Tesla’s board of directors.

Tesla, as part of its collaboration with Mercedes-Benz, is building electric powertrain components for the Mercedes A-Class E-Cell, an electric car with a range of 200 km (124 mi), and 214 foot-pounds force (290 N·m) of torque. The 36 kWh battery pack will contain approximately 4,000 individual lithium-ion cells.

In late 2007, Tesla began working with Germany’s Daimler AG on powertrain components for an electric version of the German company’s Smart two-seater city car. Tesla is producing the battery packs and chargers for an initial 1,000-unit fleet of EV Smarts. Daimler has not released details about the vehicle’s pricing or timing. The two companies announced that they were working together on the Smart in January 2009.

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