Berlin, Germany – Daimler AG and electricity producer RWE AG have launched “e-mobility Berlin”, the world’s largest joint project for environmentally-friendly electric cars. The initiative covers all components required, from innovative drive technology to customer-friendly infrastructure.

Daimler will provide more than 100 electric cars from Mercedes-Benz and Smart, as well as the vehicle service, while RWE will handle the development, installation and operation of the charging infrastructure, accounting for some 500 charging points, along with the supply of electricity and central control of the system. The payment system involves the exchange of data between a special in-car communication system and the intelligent charging point. The project is being supported by the German federal government.

“Our joint initiative is a good example of what can be achieved when policy makers, energy suppliers and the automotive industry all work together towards the same goal,” said Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the board of Daimler AG. “Our mobility concept is based on an integrated solution of combining electric cars suitable for everyday use and the appropriate charging infrastructure. In this way, we are decisively improving customer friendliness and the suitability of electric vehicles.”

The project will use the new generation of Smart ED (electric drive) and electric-battery driven vehicles, which use a lithium-ion battery developed specifically for use in these cars. Compared to conventional batteries, these provide a greater range and shorter charging time, with the possibility of smaller and lighter batteries as a result. As early as next year, Daimler will launch the battery technology in serial production of the Mercedes S 400 BlueHYBRID.

RWE AG will develop, install and operate the charging infrastructure, including 500 charging points that will be set up for the large-scale project within the city of Berlin, with the possibility of gradually extending the service. The company said that once the corresponding batteries become available, it will be possible for the energy stored in the vehicle to be fed back into the supply network, with the battery storing electricity when demand is low, and feeding it back into the network when demand is high. RWE said that charging points could be installed in customers’ homes, workplaces, public parking areas, shopping centres, car parks and with fleet operations.

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