It’s Getting Electric
Want to know how serious things are getting vis-à-vis the development of electric vehicles?
Not only were Ford’s announcement on Monday about a $135-million investment in battery and hybrid-electric transaxle production, and yesterday’s announcement about groundbreaking for the Nissan LEAF battery plant in Smyrna, TN, but today in Beijing, Daimler AG and BYD Company Ltd.—which is described as “the fastest growing Chinese automotive manufacturer” and as “the first manufacturer in China to commercialize [the] taxi business with its e6,” by which it means that it has an electric vehicle (the e6) rolling around in China as cabs—created a 50:50 research and technology joint venture, “Shenzhen BYD Daimler New Technology Co. Ltd.” to develop an EV for China.
BYD, BTW, also has interests in selling its battery technology to other vehicle manufacturers.
Approximately one year ago, on May 19, 2009, Daimler acquired an equity stake of nearly 10% in Silicon Valley-based Tesla, the company that Toyota recently invested in, as well. When the announcement about the investment in Tesla was made last year, Dr. Thomas Weber, member of the Board of Daimler AG responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development, stated, “Our strategic partnership is an important step to accelerate the commercialization of electric drives globally.”
Things are getting very serious.