Daimler is working aggressively to bring zero emissions vehicles to market under both the Mercedes-Benz and Smart brands. In order to get ready for that, Daimler AG research and development chief Dr. Thomas Weber wants all the company's dealers to be fully prepared to sell those vehicles and provide service to customers in the next two years.
The first 1,000 electric Smarts will be distributed this year and Daimler plans to ramp up production in the coming years as well as adding other battery and fuel cell vehicles. Weber told an event at the University of Duisburg-Essen's Center for Automotive Research that service personnel need to be trained in handling the high voltage power systems in these vehicles. In addition to the drive systems, electric vehicles will be equipped with a variety of new systems including electric climate control and charging that service departments will have to contend with. After the difficulties that Daimler had with introducing new technologies like telematics and electro-hydraulic brake systems over the past decade, Weber clearly wants everyone to be ready.
[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]