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Summary:

Tesla Motors will be charging up Daimler’s electric Smart ForTwo cars with its own lithium-ion battery technology, the German edition of the Financial Times reports (hat tip Autoblog Green). According to the report Tesla will supply the batteries for the 150 cars Daimler plans to deploy […]

Tesla Motors will be charging up Daimler’s electric Smart ForTwo cars with its own lithium-ion battery technology, the German edition of the Financial Times reports (hat tip Autoblog Green). According to the report Tesla will supply the batteries for the 150 cars Daimler plans to deploy first in Berlin; Daimler subsequently aims to expand that test fleet up to 1,000 cars across several European cities. The batteries will give the mini electric cars an urban driving range of more than 90 miles.

We got in touch with Tesla in the hopes of getting more detail, but they declined comment.

The deal is reportedly part of a larger initiative Daimler is reportedly unveiling today with German utility RWE to create a network of some 500 public charging stations around that country’s capital. Daimler has been running a similar pilot project in London where some 100 electric Smarts have been zipping about since late last year. The pilot fleet currently has charge times of eight hours, but Daimler reportedly hopes that with Tesla’s newer batteries and a utility helping with infrastructure, the charge time could be reduced to two or three.

We heard back in June that Daimler and Tesla were getting cozy. At the time, Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche wouldn’t comment on the California startup but did announce electric Mercedes and Smart models for 2010. Zetsche also said that Daimler was in talks with Shai Agassi’s electric car infrastructure startup, Better Place. Today’s news of Daimler’s deal with RWE doesn’t rule out a roll for Better Place, but it could mean the German auto maker might be trying to electrify the German autobahn without Agassi.

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  1. To have an effective electric auto the battery and auto must be made with a standard size battery compartment, voltage, and connectors for a quick change station. Aything less is just wasting time and money.

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    [...] with other major auto makers, Musk said in his speech. He also noted the company’s previously announced partnership with Daimler and said that the connection could possibly turn into a larger deal. [...]

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    [...] for better or worse. The Germany-based automaker and the Silicon Valley electric sports car startup joined forces last year with an agreement for Tesla to supply battery packs for a small trial of 150 electric Smart ForTwo [...]

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