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A few months back, Tesla Motors revealed that its upcoming WhiteStar sedan would be available in two variants, a pure battery electric like the Roadster and a range-extended electric more like the Chevy Volt. We still don't have many details on the car, although we do know that lessons learned while working on the drivetrain for the heavier sedan have been fed back into the Roadster for its updated 2.0 drivetrain.

As a small start-up with limited resources, developing a new engine for the WhiteStar would obviously be problematic. Tesla Chairman Elon Musk let slip in an interview with Fox Business News that the company has reached a technology deal with German giant Daimler (formerly of DaimlerChrysler infamy). Without any official comment from Tesla yet (we'll update you when we here something), one possible scenario for the deal is that Daimler will provide engines for the range extended WhiteStar. Daimler has always struggled to make money from Smart and the micro-car builder has a 1.0L three cylinder engine that might make a good range extender. If Daimler supplied 10,000 or so of those engines to Tesla, it could help drive down Daimler's costs. The other possibility is that Tesla might be licensing battery management technology to Daimler, but that scenario seems less likely.

Update: Tesla VP Darryl Siry declined comment on the matter.

[Source: Just-Auto - sub. req'd]


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  • 16 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'd recommend that Daimler readies its legal team...
      • 7 Years Ago
      With they way they are trickling out the Roadster, one can only bet it will be a LONG time before another car debuts for Tesla.

      And I am surprised that those putting down a deposit haven't complained. I know if I had and realized just how slow Tesla is going, I'd just ask for my money back and go buy something else.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Maybe Diamler wants to add another loser to the Crown. Diamler could pay way to much for Tesla, trying jamming the german way down Teslas throat, then sell it for a loss.

      • 7 Years Ago
      My prediction is Tesla becomes the Pinanfarina of electric. After the Tesla a bet they become a consulting firm or something like that. I bet they find there is much more money to be made with less investment. Just a totally unfounded guess though
      • 7 Years Ago
      Tesla be careful working with Daimler!!!! Look what they did to Chrysler!!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Isn't this a direct copy of the Chevy Volt?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Hmmmmm? Let me think. Tesla Motors working with Daimler AG. Do I see a pimpin' on the horizon here?
      • 7 Years Ago
      English fail...'here something'?
      • 7 Years Ago
      i hope so cuz, they need help on the design department
      • 7 Years Ago
      I've heard a rumour that Merc is designing their entry level hatch and possibly a toyota-lexus is designing their sedan.

      These are the two car launches that are being funded by the current 100k model - the versions us common folk can afford.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Smart Fortwo's engines are 0,6L (50hp) or 0,7L(61hp), both with turbo. Anyway, I think they have too much power only to recharge an electric motor. Is Tesla considering a sort of hybrid like the Prius?
        • 7 Years Ago
        This is the myth of the serial hybrid, that you can use a tiny motor. In fact, if you want to have seamless performance between a full charged battery or running only on the gas motor, it will take a bigger motor than the Prius has to run the car's electric motors AND charge the rather large battery at the same time if it's discharged. Otherwise they'll have to put the car into some sort of limp mode where it drives like you'd expect a mid size sedan with a 660cc motor that has half it's hp devoted to turning the alternator to run.
      • 7 Years Ago
      As long as they don't take the SMART transmission things could turn out okay.

      I am saddened seeing Tesla making a gas car though.
        • 7 Years Ago
        They're not making a gas car... They're making an all electric sedan, with an optional "range extender" tiny ICE that acts as a generator recharging the battery pack. You'll be able to get your White Star (or whatever it will be really called then) without it, if you really hate the idea of a single drop of gasoline/diesel anywhere inside your car...
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