Thursday, September 16, 2010

Cute Little Mercedes-Benz tiptoes into Europe

Mercedes-Benz Electric

Mercedes-Benz continues to move cautiously forward on electric car production, even as Asian and U.S. rivals are hustling to get regular-production battery cars into showrooms for real-world customers.

M-B says its subcompact "E-cell" (battery) car, a four-door hatchback, will go into production this fall, but only 500 will be made. It's more to test the process than to really put an electric into full-scale production.

The car is to have a range of more than 125 miles on a charge, is powered by a 95-horsepower electric motor and stores its juice in lithium-ion batteries, considered the latest battery technology.

M-B says the 500 vehicles "will be leased to selected customers in several European countries, including Germany, France and the Netherlands."

By contrast, Nissan says it'll have tens of thousands of its Leaf electrics produced and sold globally the first year, rising to 550,000 annually within several years. Leaf goes on sale in the U.S. in December. Chevy says it'll build and sell thousands of Volt electrics, also due to go on sale in December.

New Mercedes A-Class E-Cell pics and details

source: content.usatoday