Daimler announces deal with RWE, 500 Berlin charging points, lithium Smart
Daimler AG and German utility RWE are teaming up for what they are calling the largest electric car field test in the world. The "e-mobility Berlin" project will see Daimler deploy a fleet of over 100 second-generation Smart ED and Mercedes A-Class cars powered by lithium ion batteries. In order to facilitate the use of these cars around the German capitol, RWE will install 500 public charging stations. The charge points will get vehicle ID information when the cars are plugged in to allow accurate billing of the drivers. By working with the utility, Daimler wants to develop an integrated system that includes both electrically-driven vehicles and a publicly-accessible charging infrastructure. The latter is actually quite important because at least in the early years, the limited range of battery vehicles will mean that they are primarily used in urban environments. Many people living in such locales don't necessarily have a garage or other place to plug in. Automatic charging points like the ones to be deployed by RWE or those developed by Coulomb technologies here in the U.S. will be an important part of the equation. The new electric Smarts to be deployed by Daimler will use lithium ion batteries but the company has not confirmed who will supply the packs. Previously the Financial Times had reported that Tesla would be supplying the batteries for these cars.
Joint project with more than 100 electric vehicles from Mercedes-Benz and smart and 500 charging points provided by RWE
Environmentally compatible and customer-friendly mobility concept
Serial development phase starting now – first vehicles beginning end of 2009
Daimler AG and RWE AG are today launching the world's largest joint project for environmentally friendly electric cars. These provide locally emission-free driving, thus making a considerable contribution towards protecting the environment and reducing dependency on fossil fuels. The initiative covers all components required for the efficient use of battery-powered electric vehicles - from innovative drive technology through to customer-friendly infrastructure. Daimler will provide more than 100 electric cars from Mercedes-Benz and smart as well as the vehicle service. RWE is handling the development, installation and operation of the charging infrastructure accounting for some 500 charging points, the supply of electricity and central control of the system. The payment system takes the form of the exchange of data between a special in-car communication system and the intelligent charging point. This unique cross-sectoral co-operation brings together the specific know-how of two key industries. The project is being supported by the German federal government due to its significance in terms of sustainable mobility in the future.
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