Daimler Acquires Stake in Tesla
Tesla Roadster and Smart Fortwo ED|
with executives in Stuttgart, Germany.
21st May, 2009
- German car maker acquires nearly 10 per cent of one of America's electric vehicle companies
- Car makers agreed to co-operate in battery systems, electric drive systems and vehicle projects
Germany's Daimler AG has acquired an equity stake of nearly 10 per cent of America's Tesla Motors Inc.
This investment deepens the relationship between the inventor of the automobile and one of the newest members
of the global car making industry.
Tesla is the only production car maker selling a highway capable electric vehicle in North America and
The two companies have already been working closely to integrate Tesla’s lithium-ion battery packs and charging
electronics into the first 1,000 units of Daimler’s electric Smart car.
In order to benefit from each other’s know-how, the investment enables the partners to collaborate even more
closely on the development of battery systems, electric drive systems and in individual vehicle projects.
“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
company’s strengths. This marks another important milestone in Daimler’s strategy for sustainable
“Daimler has set the benchmark for engineering excellence and vehicle quality for more than a century. It is
an honour and a powerful endorsement of our technology that Daimler would choose to invest in and partner with
Tesla,” said Tesla CEO and Product Architect Elon Musk.
“Daimler is also on the leading edge in the field of sustainable mobility. Among others the lithium-ion
pouch-cell battery developed by Daimler and especially designed for automotive applications is of interest to us.
We are looking forward to a strategic co-operation 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.”
Together on the road to electro-mobility
As part of the collaboration, Prof. Herbert Kohler, Vice President E-Drive and Future Mobility at Daimler AG,
will take a seat on Tesla’s board of directors.
This long-term partnership with Tesla complements Daimler’s multi-facetted strategy to advance the
electrification of the automobile.
Daimler is also moving forward the industrialisation of lithium-ion technology.
In March, the company founded the Deutsche Accumotive GmbH, a joint venture with Evonik Industries AG. As a
result, Daimler is the first vehicle manufacturer worldwide that develops, produces and markets batteries for
automotive applications. This is based on a Daimler stockholding in Li-Tec, the German specialist for lithium-ion
One hundred Smart electric cars (known as Smart Fortwo ED) have already been undergoing large-scale trials in
London since 2007. These electric vehicles are being tested in day-to-day assignments by fleet operators and
Later this year the Smart assembly plant in Hambach, France, will start production of up to 1,000 units of the
second-generation Smart Fortwo with electric drive, which will initially be used for mobility projects such as
e-mobility Berlin or e-mobility Italy.
This year, Daimler is also starting small-series production of the Mercedes-Benz B-Class with a fuel cell
In 2010 the company will introduce its first battery-powered Mercedes-Benz.
As of 2012, Daimler plans to equip all Smart and Mercedes-Benz electric vehicles with their own lithium-ion
In 2004, Tesla began development of its first electric vehicle, the Roadster, which remains the only highway
capable EV for sale in both North America or Europe.
The Tesla Roadster is the first production battery electric vehicle to travel more than 200 miles per charge
and the first US- and EU-certified lithium-ion battery electric vehicle.
This ecologically-friendly car accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds.
The Roadster, which travels an estimated 244 miles per charge with zero tailpipe emissions, is the first
production vehicle to break the historical compromise between automobile performance and efficiency.
The Tesla Model S builds upon the success of the Tesla Roadster by leveraging its technology into the world’s
first fully electric sedan. Based in Silicon Valley (California), Tesla unveiled the Model S in March and plans
to produce it in California starting in late 2011.
Stuttgart, Germany-based Daimler AG, with its businesses Mercedes-Benz Cars, Daimler Trucks, Daimler Financial
Services, Mercedes-Benz Vans and Daimler Buses, is a leading global producer of premium passenger cars and is the
global market leader for heavy- and medium-duty trucks and buses.
The Daimler Financial Services division has a broad offering of financial services, including vehicle financing,
leasing, insurance and fleet management.
Daimler sells its products in nearly every country and has production facilities on five continents.
Founders, Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz, continued to make automotive history following their invention of the
automobile in 1886.
As an automotive pioneer, Daimler and its employees willingly accept an obligation to act responsibly towards
society and the environment and to shape the future of safe and sustainable mobility with groundbreaking
technologies and high-quality products.
The current brand portfolio includes the world’s most valuable automobile brand, Mercedes-Benz, as well as Smart,
AMG, Maybach, Freightliner, Western Star, Mitsubishi Fuso, Setra, Orion and Thomas Built Buses.
In 2008, the Group sold 2.1 million vehicles and employed a workforce of over 270,000 people.
About Tesla Motors
San Carlos, California-based Tesla Motors Inc. makes electric vehicles with exceptional design, performance and
efficiency, while conforming to all North American and European safety, environmental and durability standards.
The Roadster has a 0-to-60 mph acceleration of 3.9 seconds yet is more energy efficient than a Toyota Prius.
Tesla expects to begin producing the all-electric, zero-emission Model S sedan in late 2011.