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Portugal is far better known for its scenery and seascapes (not to mention some of its alcoholic beverages) than its place as a vehicle-testing center. But the European country is serving just that purpose for Daimler's Mercedes-Benz division and a new line of trucks. And they are of the battery-electric variety.

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Italian motorcycle maker MV Agusta has been riding down a rough road so far this year. Not only did it temporarily lose it license to sell bikes in California, rumors have kept popping up about it being sold to a couple of automakers. Fiat was reportedly considering the business for a possible purchase in March.

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Plug-in vehicle advocates can get all warm and fuzzy about two Germany heavyweight automakers getting together for the sake of wireless charging. That's because Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler and BMW will work together to speed up development of a wireless charging system. While not a ton of details were divulged, we can still rejoice.

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Well, that extra weight had to be felt somewhere. With Mercedes-Benz getting ready to start US sales of its B-Class Electric drive this summer, the big question was how well its range would stack up against other electric vehicles sold in the States. Turns out, the Benz is a bit of a juice hog.

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And Just Look At What You Can Get With Your BMW i8

Apparently, Chevrolet Volt battery covers make suitable homes for bats. As part of an Eagle Scout project, Matthew Netherland created 30 bat houses out of scrapped Volt battery covers donated by Chevy. 22 of the bat houses will be set up near hydroelectric dams in Michigan. Each bat house will accommodate 100 bats, and divert the scrapped materials from the landfill. The battery covers also make great nesting boxes for wood ducks, which General Motors has previously set up at its Milford, Michig

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It's official, folks: After initial reports last week indicated that Mercedes-Benz was preparing to begin assembly at the Nissan plant in Aguascalientes, Mexico, the two parent companies have announced just that. Only instead of using the existing Nissan plant at the site (in operation since 1992), Daimler and the Renault-Nissan Alliance have announced a joint venture to build a new one alongside it.

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Until now, the trajectory of the Car2go carsharing service has been growth, growth, growth. But the expansion has hit a snag in jolly old England, where Daimler has announced it will shut down operations there. This means that the two Car2go UK locations, London and Birmingham, will no longer offer one-way, short-term car rentals as of tomorrow.

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Five-plus years may have been about enough time for Daimler AG to know whether it wanted to be in the battery-pack production business. The Mercedes-Benz parent may stop making electric-vehicle batteries and ultimately sell its Li-Tec battery-cell factory in Germany within two years, according to Bloomberg News which cites Manager Magazin. The beneficiary may be LG Electronics, which would likely take over battery-production duties for models such as Daimler's Smart ED battery-electric vehicle.

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Mercedes-Benz has been profiting mightily from compact cars recently. Its Kecskemét, Hungary, factory added a third shift to keep up with demand, and company's US arm called the CLA-Class, its "best launch in 20 years." However, Daimler boss Dieter Zetsche says the Mercedes brand won't be getting any smaller, subcompact models; they will be reserved for the Smart brand.

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The Beach Boys typified the Southern California lifestyle by famously singing about hot rods, drag races and convertibles (not to mention surfer girls). So we never would've guessed that their hometown would help host a carsharing service featuring squat two-seaters. But times have changed.

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There's been talk of late about the technical partnership between Aston Martin and the AMG division of Mercedes-Benz going beyond engines to include Mercedes sports car and SUV platforms for the English brand, perhaps as a way to kickstart the development of a Lagonda SUV. But AMG CEO Tobias Moers, speaking to Top Gear, said that's effectively out of the question because, "No one has the time to discuss any more involvement than that for now."

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For anyone who's not convinced that the auto industry operates on a slow timetable, remember that Mercedes and BYD first teamed up for a Chinese-market electric vehicle in 2010. While we've heard lots about the resulting EV that the Denza brand would make since then, the car wasn't scheduled to hit the market until 2014. At the Beijing Motor Show this week, Denza showed off a production version of the car and said that things are "well on track" for sales in September.

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According to a report in Reuters, we will get to know the new face of Maybach at this year's Los Angeles Auto Show and Guangzhou Motor Show. The revival of the name has been in the news for a while now, but what hasn't been clear is where it will fit in with other models like the coming Pullman. The Reuters piece says it will be "used to adorn an exclusive version of its S-Class limousine," but the real punch is reading that it is expected to "cost more than double the 165,000-euro ($228,000) as

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Mercedes-Benz is about to give Americans another choice of battery-powered vehicle. Offering more all-electric range than the Nissan Leaf or BMW i3, and with a smaller price tag than the Tesla Model S, the B-Class Electric Drive is officially set to arrive in the US this summer. Indeed, the first examples have begun rolling off the production line in Rastatt, Germany.

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Some executives in the automotive industry stay with one company for their entire careers, while others bounce from one to the other, often leaving their indelible mark on each automaker at which they serve. Bob Lutz is certainly an example of the latter. So is Lee Iacocca, having presided over Ford and later charing the Chrysler board. Carlos Tavares was chief operating officer of Renault before being nominated as chief executive at PSA Peugeot Citroën. But as far as the Germans go, nobody

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Mercedes-Benz says it reduced its fleetwide vehicle emissions by 4.3 percent last year. Of course, the German automaker has another 29 percent to go to meet the European Commission's 2020 mandate. But who's counting?

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"High five!" was one of the catch-phrases of Sacha Baron Cohen's Kazakh comedic alter ego Borat. A real-world HyFive is being announced by a power broker named Boris. And this is serious business.

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Mercedes-Benz drivers and treehuggers don't always go hand in hand, but, like a lot of other companies, the German automaker is looking to boost its green cred. This time, it's all about the car's lifecycle carbon footprint. The Daimler AG unit is using its new C-Class sedan as an example of how it's making progress in that department.

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Is three the magic number of cylinders for Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler and its efforts to build smaller powertrains for its compact hybrids? Potentially, yes, the German automaker could see the need for three-cylinder mills, Automotive News reports. The company doesn't have any plans for them as of yet, though.

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Here's a classic pot-kettle-black story. Daimler, which has a partnership with Tesla, is calling the EV automaker out for its Supercharger stations that - at this point - only work with Tesla vehicles. Daimler, along with supplier Bosch, is saying that there should be compatible standards in the EV industry. Tesla has big plans to install Supercharger throughout Germany (and Europe), but Daimler isn't singing praises.

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Nissan and Daimler have been partnering ever closer for years, and now an unnamed source has told Reuters that the automakers have agreed to a 50-50 joint venture in Mexico that would build Infiniti and Mercedes-Benz models. Given that the rumors about just such a deal go back nearly six months and similar rumblings are years old, this arrangement has been a long time coming.

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