The New York Times is reporting that Daimler has decided to proceed with production of a fleet of 500 Mercedes-Benz A-Class E-Cell vehicles early in 2011. Like the Smart ED, the battery packs and power electronics for the electric A-Class will be supplied by Tesla Motors. According to Tesla chief technical officer JB Straubel, Daimler decided to move forward with the project after Tesla took the initiative and converted an A-Class for demonstration purposes.
Details of the A-Class E-Cell are expected to be announced in mid-September ahead of its debut at the Paris Motor Show. Straubel told the times that the pack would have a capacity of about 40 kilowatt-hours and contain approximately 4,000 18650 lithium-ion cells. That should be sufficient for about 124 miles of electric driving range. Since the current-generation A-Class is not certified for the U.S. market, the electric variant is unlikely to make it here until the next-generation model arrives.
[Source: New York Times]