Daimler AG, the producer of Mercedes-Benz and smart cars, has bought a stake worth close to 10 percent in specialist EV company Tesla Motors.

A brighter future for Daimler AG has come closer to reality as a result of the German manufacturer taking almost a tenth of Tesla Motors Inc. Tesla is the only company that sells highway capable Electric Vehicles in North America and Europe.

A relationship already exists between the two companies. Tesla-made lithium-ion battery packs with charging electronics are currently running around in 1,000 smart cars. These have been undergoing day-to-day testing assignments by fleet operators and private customers in London since 2007.

"Our strategic partnership is an important step to accelerate the commercialisation of electric drives globally," said Dr. Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Daimler AG, responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. "As a young and dynamic company, Tesla stands for visionary power and pioneering spirit. Together with Daimler's 120 years of experience in the automotive sector this collaboration is a unique combination of two companies' strengths. This marks another important milestone in Daimler's strategy for sustainable mobility."

Later on this year Daimler will begin producing the Mercedes-Benz B-Class with a fuel cell drive system. Production will be quite limited for the time being. From next year though, the first battery-powered Mercedes-Benz will be introduced.

As part of the Daimler/ Tesla union Professor Herbert Kohler, Vice President E-Drive and Future Mobility at Daimler AG, will become one of Tesla's board members.


Gallery: Daimler Announces Strategic Partnership with Tesla Motors