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Daimler to Test Electric Car

Automaker teams with energy company to develop electric vehicles.

German car maker Daimler and energy group RWE unveiled on Sept. 5 a pilot project to promote electric vehicles in Berlin that was inspired by one in London.

The German version was "the world's largest joint project for environmentally friendly electric cars," a joint statement said.

In the "e-mobility Berlin" plan's first phase, Daimler would provide 100 Mercedes and Smart cars to a wide range of users the company would probably select in the near future based on applications, a spokeswoman told AFP.

"We are looking to receive as much feedback as possible," she said, adding that the vehicles would likely be supplied on a leasing basis.

RWE, meanwhile, is to set up and supply a network of 500 charging stations around the capital, with an estimated launch date of late 2009.

"We are convinced that the future of mobility is green," a statement quoted Daimler chairman Dieter Zetsche as saying.

RWE chief executive Juergen Grossmann added that his group would develop "an individually-tailored, intelligent and convenient charging structure at home, at the workplace and in public places."

The project is backed by the German government, which hopes to adopt in November a national plan for the development of electric vehicles.

It builds on one launched last year by Daimler in London, where a fleet of electric Smart cars are now being tested by police and other authorities.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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