A Smart move for Tesla?

19 May 2009

Tesla Roadster and Smart ED electric carsWe’re not sure who has done best out of today’s deal between American electric sports-car startup Tesla and stodgy Teutonic wagen-maker Daimler, owner of Mercedes-Benz and Smart. For its $10m-plus investment Daimler gets a 10 per cent stake in Tesla, access to its innovative battery technology, plus a bit of rubbed-off sexiness. In return for a chunk of itself, Tesla gets the money, obviously, plus access to Daimler’s big-car-company engineering resources and a bit of rubbed-off solidity. Perhaps the Mercedes-Benz truck division might be able to furnish Tesla with a two-speed transmission that doesn't snap, for example.

The deal values Tesla at in excess of $100m, by the by, which is not bad for a company that's delivered not much in the way of product and nothing at all in profit.

We hope we'll see future products from both companies that are as exciting and innovative as the Tesla Roadster and as reliable and well engineered as an S-Class.

Hopefully we won't see Teslas that are as desirable as a Düsseldorf taxi. Or, for that matter, electric Smarts that cost a fortune, arrive late and don't work properly.

No, hang on, we already have the latter...

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