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Germany's Daimler Pushes Ahead with Electric Cars

DPA news agency (win)August 9, 2008

German carmaker Daimler is pushing ahead with its program on electrically powered cars, aiming at producing around 10,000 vehicles by 2012, Thomas Weber, director for research and development said in Stuttgart Saturday.

A Smart car
Daimler is banking on Smart cars when it comes to electrically-powered vehiclesImage: AP

"By 2010 we will be very close to series production and aim to start with limited numbers in the hundreds," Weber told DPA news agency. "Our aim is to cover costs by 2010. By 2012 we would be producing around 10,000 units."

Daimler was also pushing ahead with research on fuel cells, Weber said.

"The next phase in electric car production is equipping the Smart micro-cars with lithium ion batteries, with Smart two-seaters and the Mercedes A series coming onto the market the following year," Weber said.

Daimler research shows that for most European customers 80 percent of their mobility requirement was under 50 kilometers (31 miles) a day.

"Our Smart electric cars can make 100 kilometers," Weber said.

The most promising market is seen as Europe, where environmental concerns are widespread. Weber said Daimler was planning further tests on top of those currently running since last year in London.

"Berlin is very interested, and Paris and Rome would also be possible," he said.