The folks at little Tesla Motors are rapidly becoming the go-to guys when a big automaker needs help bringing battery car technology to market, it seems. With Toyota soon to launch the Tesla-powered RAV4-EV reports have surfaced that Mercedes will also tap the California start-ups expertise to bring out a battery-electric version of the next-generation B-Class model.
Though Tesla is counting on its own products – notably including its new Model S sedan – to transform it into a significant automotive player, the company also has been pushing to expand its ties to other automotive manufacturers including Toyota, which has invested $50 million into the smaller firm.
Mercedes and parent Daimler AG have also found it expedient to turn to Tesla, which already has provided battery powertrain know-how to the company’s little Smart car brand, which recently introduced a new electric version of its Smart fortwo. But the B-Class project promises to ramp things up substantially.