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Turns out, you can drive a unique electric vehicle all the way across Australia on less than $15 worth of electricity. You just need some kite assistance (or, yes, solar power). The Wind Explorer that made this trek is now on display at Evonik's New Jersey office, since the company worked on the quirky EV.

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Mercedes-Benz concept BlueZero - Click above for high-res image gallery

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Mercedes-Benz concept BlueZero - Click above for high-res image gallery

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Late last year, Daimler AG announced that it would partner with Evonik for the development and manufacturing of automotive lithium ion batteries. Daimler bought half of Evonik's LiTec battery unit at that time. Now, Daimler is looking to bring in another partner for the project. At this time, its not clear if that would be a partner on the battery side to bring in more technology, or a partner to consume batteries and help spread the development costs.

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It looks like Daimler AG doesn't plan to rely solely on suppliers for lithium ion batteries going forward. Traditionally, automakers prefer to keep most powertrain development in-house as one of the primary differentiators from other manufacturers. As these companies move forward into hybrid and electric drive vehicles, the battery pack is becoming an ever-more integral part of the powertrain.

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