Earlier this month word got out that Silicon Valley electric vehicle startup Tesla has been working on some sort of deal with Germany’s Daimler. This weekend Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche told a German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that it has much bigger plans in store: Daimler says it will release an electric model of a Mercedes and an electric version of its Smart Car by 2010 (via Reuters U.K.). Zetsche also told the newspaper that it is “in talks” with electric vehicle infrastructure startup Project Better Place.
The news proves that as the price of gas rises higher, as fears of global warming become more mainstream and as oil reserves dwindle, major car companies are taking the electric car seriously. And we applaud those that do. Japan’s Nissan recently made a significant commitment to alternative vehicles. Nissan says it will launch an all-electric car in the United States and Japan by 2010, will deliver a low-cost, energy efficient car for the Indian market and has also partnered with Project Better Place (but maybe not in Japan). GM is planning on having its electric vehicle, the Volt, ready for production by 2010.
Daimler’s electric vehicle plan is good news for consumers, who, come 2010, will have that many more green car options in a marketplace that is sorely lacking. We’ve personally considered the Smart Car option, but have wanted a more alternative version. And the more big name car companies that sign on with Project Better Place the greater the likelihood the company’s networks will proliferate. That means that we could be getting closer to having Project Better Place networks stateside, in Hawaii or the California Bay Area.