Tesla founder and chairman Elon Musk took the occasion of his company’s first Detroit show appearance to announce that Tesla will provide components for the Smart Electric.
Musk said Daimler gave him permission to reveal Jan. 13 that the German automaker has been working with his firm for the nearly a year and half. Tesla will provide the battery pack and charging systems, initially for 1,000 units. “This will allow us to accelerate the advent of an affordable electric car,” said Musk, who also said his company is seeking to develop other, similar partnerships with major automakers.
He also touted the Tesla Roadster Sport, to be available in June, with a more powerful drive system that will improve 0-60 mph acceleration to 3.7 seconds. Roadsters are being built at a rate of 15 cars a week now, but will increase to 30 cars a week in late spring for an annualized rate of 1,500 cars a year. A planned sedan will be shown in late February, he said, with production two years away.
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