2011 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive – Click above for high-res image gallery
Daimler's research and development chief, Thomas Weber, spoke to Reuters regarding the company's collaborative work with the Renault-Nissan alliance. During the interview, Weber stated that Daimler's cooperative efforts, "will be expanded to include all three partners as far as electric motors, batteries and powertrains are concerned." The move to expand the joint electric vehicle collaboration comes as automakers scramble to secure potentially scarce supplies for battery-powered vehicles and as Daimler is looking for a way to meet upcoming emission standards.
By expanding its cooperative work with Renault-Nissan, Daimler hopes to secure its place amongst the top automakers in the plug-in market. Though Daimler and Renault-Nissan have already put their collective heads together to work on the next-gen Smart Fortwo and Renault Twingo models, including electrified versions of both, the companies will now band together to develop efficient vehicles on a much broader level. Weber adds that he expects Nissan to purchase around 50,000 diesel engines from Mercedes-Benz and hopes that its work with Renault-Nissan will contribute to the production of more than a million three- and four-cylinder engines. Though Weber did not release any specific plans for future collaborative electric vehicles, with powerhouses like Daimler and Renault-Nissan banded together, future plug-ins from the trio could be nothing short of spectacular.