Turns out that the yesterday's rumors were spot on as Mercedes-Benz' parent company, Daimler AG, announced today in a press conference in Stuttgart that the German firm has acquired an equity stake of nearly 10 percent of Tesla Motors. The two companies that have already sealed a deal to integrate Tesla's lithium-ion battery packs and charging electronics into the first 1,000 units of the electric Smart car, said that new partnership will allow them to work even more closely on the development of battery systems, electric drive systems and in individual vehicle projects.
As part of the deal between the two firms, Prof. Herbert Kohler, Vice President E-Drive and Future Mobility at Daimler AG, will take a seat on Tesla's board of directors.
"Our strategic partnership is an important step to accelerate the commercialization of electric drives globally," said Dr. Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Daimler AG, responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that the lithium-ion pouch-cell battery developed by Daimler and especially designed for automotive applications is of interest to the California-based company that recently unveiled the all-electric Model S sports sedan which is scheduled to enter the market in 2011.
"We are looking forward to a strategic cooperation in a number of areas including leveraging Daimler's engineering, production and supply chain expertise. This will accelerate bringing our Tesla Model S to production and ensure that it is a superlative vehicle on all levels," said Musk.