Friday, June 27, 2008

Mercedes says sexy(er) EVs are headed our way


Hybrids are popular, but they still consume fossil fuels to recharge their batteries. Electric cars are either underwhelming from a design point of view, think of the IT or high-end and esoteric pieces of sculpture available only to the super-rich, the Tesla comes to mind. But now that redoubtable Teutonic marquee Daimler Benz has plans to make electric cars both alluring and practical.

By 2010, Mercedes promises to have on the market an all-electric version of its popular sub-compact, the Smart Fortwo, as well as a similarly-powered version of one of its higher-end offerings. Whether it will be based on Benz�s entry-level B-class hatchback, or some higher-end model has not yet been revealed. �We plan an electric Smart for 2010 and for the same year a Mercedes (electric) model as well,� said Dieter Zetsche, aka Dr. Z, to a German paper.

It�s no mere figment. The company already has a fleet of 10 of these futuristic electro-SMARTIES tooling about the streets of smog-choked London along side their eco-cabs, a city where a few years ago Swedish manufacturer Saab boasted the air coming out of the tail pipes of its cars was cleaner than the surrounding air. No word yet on the price, which is expected to be dependent on whether customers buy or lease the batteries, which are the chief consumable � and expensive � element in all electric designs.

Via BenzInsider, Reuters; Photo by Thomas Becker

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