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06/23/2008 09:57 AM     print story email story  

Daimler Plans Electric Smart Car for 2010 News

Daimler (NYSE: DAI) chief executive Dieter Zetsche told a German newspaper that Mercedes-Benz will release an all-eletric version of its Smart car in 2010, according to a Reuters report. 

In an interview published Saturday in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Zetsche said the pricing of the vehicle would depend on whether the carmaker decided to sell or lease the batteries. 

He said customer willingness to pay more for electric vehicles is "limited." He also said Daimler has not decided yet whether or not to manufacture the electric motors itself. 

Daimler currently has a first generation fleet of 100 all-electric Smart cars being tested in London.

Zetsche said his company is in talks with Shai Agassi, regarding his start-up company Project Better Place, which aims to create infrastructure for electric vehicles. Project Better Place already has an agreement in place with carmaker Renault for a fleet of vehicles in Israel.

Zetsche also said Daimler intends to bring a limited series of fuel cell cars to the market in 2010. 

Honda announced last week that production has begun on the first of its hydrogen-fuel cell powered vehicles to be leased to customers in California.

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