Daimler (parent company of Mercedes-Benz) announced today at a press conference at the Mercedes Museum that they have taken a 10% stake in Electric Car maker Tesla. Although no actual figure was revealed, it was said the the cost was in the ‘Double-Digit Millions’.
Despite the fact that Daimler, just like everyone else, knows that electric cars are not a long-term answer to car emissions (just like Honda with it’s Insight that was launched to stop Toyota getting a complete stranglehold on the Hybrid market) Daimler knows that in the short-term Electric Cars are going to be big news and it can’t afford not to take a leading, pro-active position.
Mercedes has already tied up with Tesla for the Smart EV, so this is a logical progression for the working relationship. It gives Mercedes a good footing for producing Electric Cars, and gives Elon Musk and Tesla some much needed capital to push forward their plans for the Tesla S Saloon, which is as yet not much more than a dream project for Tesla.
Mercedes plans on having an A-Class EV next year and plans on utilising Tesla’s EV technology on that car. Tesla also wants access to Mercedes’ Lithium Ion cell technology, which it wants to incorporate in the Tesla Model S.
This deal gives Tesla some much needed credibility – and cash – at a time when they are starting to struggle to convince the world that their $50,000 Tesla Model S is remotely achievable for the price. But with a hard-headed Mercedes Director on the board of Tesla after this deal, it seems highly likely that we will soon see some radically revised figures for the cost of the Tesla S.