Mercedes-Benz will add the E350e plug-in hybrid to its E-Class range. Its four-cylinder engine and electric motor will offer a total output of 286 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. The entire E-Class range will be equipped with stop-start for increased fuel economy. The Drive Pilot feature, included in the Driving Assistance package, adds semi-autonomous driving, including Steering Pilot, Active Lane Change Assist and Evasive Steering Assist. Read more at Green Car Congress.
Gree Electric Appliances will buy a Chinese electric car company that controls a US battery manufacturer. China's largest air-conditioner manufacturer is diversifying its business, which will include producing EVs, as it issues new shares in order to purchase Zhuhai Yinlong New Energy. Zhuhai Yinlong controls Nevada-based Altair Nanotechnologies, which produces lithium-ion batteries. Zhuhai Yinlong is also China's seventh-largest producer of electric buses. "Over-reliance on a single product is increasing the company's financial risks, especially as the air-conditioner industry is having bad years," says independent researcher Liu Buchen. He adds, "Undoubtedly, the new-energy vehicle market boasts huge growth potential, but it is difficult to say whether that can be Gree's opportunity, given the fierce competition." Read more from China Daily.