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Tesla eyes Mercedes-Benz as potential platform for electric vans, Daimler CEO suggests



A collaboration between electric car manufacturer Tesla and veteran automaker Daimler could be in the works. Following Elon Musk's mention of Daimler's Sprinter vans on Twitter in November of November, the two companies reportedly gave lectures on potential cooperation for an all-electric version of the iconic van.

At a press conference in Stuttgart on Wednesday, Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche mentioned that Tesla is actually interested in acquiring Sprinter vans for his service wagon. The CEO also added that the outcome of the two companies' ongoing negotiations is still open.

"These lectures happen. The result is open," Zetsche said.

In November, Elon Musk hit the idea of ​​working with Daimler for an electric sprinter on Twitter. During his Twitter session, Musk noted that it would be "interesting" to work with the German automaker, even suggesting the idea of ​​acquiring Daimler van glides and fitting them with Tesla components. As mentioned in a report by Bloomberg it was not long before the two companies began to speak, starting with a series of phone calls involving Tesla's president of Automotive Jerome Guillen, who used to work for Daimler .

In Daimler's recent press conference, Zetsche added that Elon Musk's enthusiasm for possible collaboration with the German automaker was partly encouraged by feedback from Tesla's technicians, some of whom use Sprinter vans when servicing customers. The Daimler CEO did not specify whether the potential cooperation with Tesla would result in a joint development of a brand new all-electric van, or if the California-based company would simply acquire sprinters for its service trolley.

Daimler is expected to release an all-electric version of Sprinter later this year. The German-made electric van is quite robust with its maximum payload capacity of over 2,200 pounds, although its range of 93 miles per square meter. Charging leaves much to be desired. That said, Tesla & # 39; s leading powertrain and battery technology are well-suited to result in an all-electric sprinter with closer to 200 miles of reach per unit. Charge.

While Daimler CEO's recent statement gives the impression that no agreement has been reached with Tesla, the idea of ​​a collaboration between the two companies resonates with past initiatives. Back in 2009, Daimler invested $ 50 million. At Tesla, taking a 10% share in the electric car manufacturer and practically saving it from going during the process. In the following years, Tesla supplied electric motors for Daimler's electric Smart Cars and the Mercedes-Benz B class electric. Daimler would eventually stop its supply contract with Tesla in 2014 and ultimately sell its share in the electric car manufacturer for $ 780 million – a remarkable surplus over the initial $ 50 million investment.

As Tesla's fleet grows with the ramp of vehicles like Model 3, the need for more service cars becomes noticeable. While Tesla is already using Model S and Model X vehicles for its service trolley, the addition of Sprinter electric vans will definitely help the company support its growing number of customers across the globe.


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