Daimler to Electrify Autobahn With “e-mobility Berlin”

Berlin’s autobahn will be getting a charge from the “e-mobility Berlin” program Daimler AG officially unveiled today. The automaker is working with German utility RWE to put more than 100 electric cars on the city’s roads by 2010. Under terms of the joint venture, Daimler will provide electric vehicles from its Smart and Mercedes-Benz lines while RWE will install some 500 charging points around the city.

The announcement gives no legs to the rumors circulating about Daimler’s possible partnerships with a slew of cleantech startups. Last week, the Financial Times reported that electric car poster child Tesla Motors would be supplying the batteries for the Smart cars, but the release doesn’t say whose batteries will be in them.

It does, however, say that as early as next year Daimler could put that same lithium-ion technology into serial production for its Mercedes S 400 BlueHYBRID. Reuters had reported that battery giant Continental would be providing the lithium-ion batteries for the luxury hybrid, so perhaps this isn’t the deal Tesla Elon Musk said he was working on with Daimler? Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche told German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung earlier this year he was “in talks” with Agassi’s Better Place, but the Silicon Valley startup tells us that they are not involved with the e-mobility program.

The 500 “electricity filling stations” will be capable of identifying individual cars and owners allowing for charging of the vehicle and the credit card on account as well as “smart charging” or “vehicle-to-grid charging,” all features Agassi promises his charging stations will provide.

So far, the only partners announced in this project are Daimler and RWE, but we’re hopeful some cleantech startups will be helping with Daimler’s electro-auto-revolution.

Image courtesy of Daimler.

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