Daimler CEO Zetsche: Tesla Deal “Certainly Has Room For Further Expansion”

FEB 7 2014 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 9

B-Class Electric Drive is Powered by Tesla

B-Class Electric Drive is Powered by Tesla

Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche says that the German automaker is looking to expand upon several cooperative agreements it currently has in place with various automakers.

B-Class ED

B-Class ED

According to Zetsche, Daimler is looking to broaden its cooperative work with Renault-Nissan, though there’s no mention of this deal ever resulting in a plug-in vehicle.  So, let’s move on to Daimler-Tesla.

Zetsche is quoted by Automotive News as saying:

“Their [Tesla’s] project leader was a former member of our team, so we have a lot of very good links, a very constructive good relationship, which certainly has room for further expansion.”

We think Daimler’s working relationship with Tesla will continue to expand, especially if the B-Class Electric Drive sells well when it launches in the US.

Despite false reports stating otherwise, the currently available Smart Fortwo Electric Drive does not use Tesla components.  However, it seems likely that the next-gen Smart ED will turn to Tesla, as Daimler is in the process of closing down/selling off/unloading the two EV-related divisions responsible for the current powertrain found in today’s Smart ED.

Source: Automotive News

Categories: Mercedes, Nissan, Renault, Smart, Tesla

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9 Comments on "Daimler CEO Zetsche: Tesla Deal “Certainly Has Room For Further Expansion”"

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Daimler seem to have given up on leading in any advanced drive train technology.

They are content to use Tesla’s technology in a half hearted battery electric effort, with nothing remotely comparable to BMW’s move to CF build.

For fuel cells they are also in partnership, with the B-class postponed whilst Hyundai and Toyota take the lead.

Bang goes their grand tradition of being at the front of automobile innovation.

What a shame.

Looking forward to the next version of the Smart ed. It’s due late 2014. Would be great if they move from the current 17,6 kWh pack to +\- 20 kWh Tesla pack

Or are they just waiting for when the time is right (poss 2017-ish) to buy Tesla?

They can’t even buy it now!

“Daimler is in the process of closing down/selling off/unloading the two EV-related divisions responsible for the current powertrain found in today’s Smart ED.”

This is the most surprising part of this story. When they changed from the 2nd to 3rd generation Smart ED, they changed from Tesla parts to all German parts including motor, inverter, and battery system. I know they’ve been having trouble ramping up the battery production, but they’re dumping it? That is surprising.

Back to the actual B-Class ED. If they really wanted to sell it, they would make it more appealing by puting a 40kWh+ battery in it and giving it a DCFC port. With a 28kWh battery, an EPA range below 100 miles, and no fast-charge capability, the appeal of this vehicle will be limited. ActiveE drivers are having to give up their cars and many are not moving up to the i3. I don’t think many will wait for B-Class either. A surprising number are moving over to RAV4 EV. At least it has significantly more range than the BMW AE.

We intend to offer a CHAdeMO inlet for both the Rav4 EV and the Mercedes B Class ED.

http://www.QuickChargePower.com

Wow! That would be a great enhancement for those vehicles. DC fast charging really improves the flexibility of EVs. Cars without it can almost be considered “crippled.”

However, I did not see any info on the link you provided. I do like the “Jesla” and “J-long” products, they could be really useful.

GSP

Q: What is a Mercedes without its large, distinctive grill?

A: A Chevy.