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Daimler Takes Stock in Tesla

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2012 Tesla Model S prototype

2012 Tesla Model S prototype

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Tesla Motors, and its ineffable founder Elon Musk, may have found the tether to long-term viability that they've been seeking.

No, not the Federal government--though Tesla's application for federal bailout money is still in process. The tether comes in the form of Daimler AG; sister sites and both report Daimler will take a 10-percent stake in Tesla as it positions itself as an alternative fuel leader.

GCR says the nearly 10-percent stake doesn't come with a disclosure on investment terms, so it could be anywhere from $10 million to $99 million, which would give Tesla a market valuation of up to $1 billion.

Tesla and Daimler have been working together furtively since late last year. In January they announced a cooperation on batteries for the Smart ForTwo EV. The first and best hint at the goings-on? When the Model S sedan appeared in concept form sharing some telltale dimensions with the Mercedes-Benz CLS sedan, and maybe a lot more, as GCR's John Voelcker reports.

Now, it appears Daimler's own electric-car aspirations could make their way into the Tesla Roadster and Model S sedan, if it makes it to production. Daimler's new Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid and its lithium-ion battery pack are on their way to U.S. showrooms, and if the cooperation gets as deep as possible, it's not out of the realm of the possible to see a similar setup in that still-developing Tesla four-door.

[Green Car Reports, All Cars Electric]

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Comment (1)
  1. "Not technically bailout money"

    Marty: Thanks for the props, but I should point out that the funding Tesla has applied for isn't "bailout" money a la GM and Chrysler but a separate pool established last fall.
    This one is restricted to funding the retooling of US plants that are at least 20 years old, to produce higher mileage vehicles and their components (including battery cells).

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