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Tesla and Daimler to Partner for Electric Smart Car

Tesla Motors Inc., a manufacturer of electric vehicles and powertrains, will supply batteries and chargers to automaker Daimler AG for a new electric Smart Car. The Wall Street Journal reports that Elon Musk, Tesla's chair and CEO, says the company will supply battery backs for 1,000 vehicles and that the number could grow to tens of thousands. Musk also hopes to develop similar partnerships with other automakers. The electric Smart is expected to launch in the second half of 2010 in limited markets; Daimler currently has a small fleet of electric Smart Cars on the road in London with batteries supplied by a different company. A standard-engine version of the tiny, two-person Smart Car is currently being sold in the United States by smart USA, a joint venture between Daimler and the Penske Group; smart USA reports that 24,622 of the vehicles were sold in the United States in 2008. 

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