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Tesla to Produce Initial Run of 1,000 Battery Packs and Chargers for the smart electric drive vehicle

Tesla will produce an initial run of 1,000 battery packs and chargers for Daimler AG’s smart electric drive vehicle in 2009 and 2010. Tesla Motors CEO and Product Architect Elon Musk made the announcement at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The two companies are working on an official joint release with more specifics, according to Tesla.

According to Daimler, Tesla will provide smart with the batteries for “a higher three-digit volume” of smart electric drive. “This helps us to bridge the time until the industrialization of Lithium-Ion batteries within our Joint Venture with Evonik will be ready,” said Matthias Brock, Head of Media Relations for Daimler’s Research, Development and Environmental Communications.

In December 2008, Daimler and Evonik announced a strategic alliance to further the research, development and production of lithium-ion battery cells and battery systems in Germany, including the formation of a joint venture focused on the development and production of batteries and battery systems for automotive applications. (Earlier post.)

Tesla delivered its first prototype to Daimler a year ago. The final version of Tesla’s battery, which will be built in California, is still under development. The companies have not announced pricing or terms of the deal.

Tesla has delivered more than 150 all-electric, zero-emission Roadsters, and there are more than 1,000 people on the waiting list. At the Detroit show, Tesla also introduced the higher-performance Roadster Sport. (Earlier post.)

In May 2007, under founding CEO Martin Eberhard, Tesla announced an agreement to supply Think Global with lithium-ion battery packs for their line of TH!NK city electric cars. (Earlier post.) In November 2007, under CEO Michael Marks, Tesla opted not to pursue the development of battery packs for Think Global, the better to focus on the development of its own vehicle programs, it said. (Earlier post.)

In December 2007, Ze’ev Drori became CEO of Tesla Motors; Chairman of the Board Elon Musk stepped in as CEO in October 2008.


John Taylor

This is a good deal.

It gives both companies greater credibility, and a path to a viable electric car at an affordable price.

Also, Chrysler tapped into the bailout bucks that Tesla cannot.

Jim Greene

From what I read, though they're already testing them in Europe, Daimler don't plan to bring these to market in the USA till late 2010, and then only via limited tests.


Looks like Tesla was smart to bail out of the Th!nk car deal since they have gone into bankruptcy (or near.) They probably saw that even with their vast surplus sovereign wealth oil fund Norway would not invest in electrification.

Working with Daimler will produce far better results and further solidify Tesla as a major player in the EV business.


Enlightened philanthropy?
More viable payers the better and cross fertilization with the smaller co could be a very cheap investment let alone an irritation to the competition.

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