Daimler Sells Stake in Tesla to Aabar Investments

Tesla is the first manufacturer of vehicles able to operate over long distances with the 'Model S' sportscar having a range of around 360 kilometers (225 miles) per charge.

Daimler said on July 13 it sold 40% of its stake in U.S. electric car maker Tesla Motors to United Arab Emirates' Aabar Investments group to boost development of low-emission vehicles.

Daimler said its "first joint strategic project" with Aabar, which bought a little more than 9% of the German group in late March, would allow them "to leverage their shared interest" in developing environmentally-friendly autos.

Daimler paid about $50 million in May for 10% of Tesla.

Tesla is the first manufacturer of vehicles able to operate over long distances with the "Model S" sportscar having a range of around 360 kilometers (225 miles) per charge.

Lithium-ion battery packs and charging units made by Tesla are also to be used in the first 1,000 electric cars to be built by Daimler's Smart car unit.

Aabar and Daimler planned even closer cooperation to develop battery systems, electric-drive systems and other car parts in the future, the statement said.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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