What is this car, and why is Mercedes staking its future on Tesla?
One occupational hazard of living where Tesla test-drives its cars under development is that as long as I'm not asleep or fetching stuff from the basement, all I need to do is to look out the window and every few minutes I will see these cars passing by. So for over a year now I have been looking at the future Tesla-based Mercedes as often as every hour, whether I like it or not.
Sometimes, the Tesla-based Mercedes test cars are parked on a public street. I took this picture (among many) last October:This Tesla-based Mercedes is of a similar size and shape as Ford Motors' (RIMM) C-Max, which is sold as both a regular hybrid and as a plug-in hybrid version -- and which I recently drove 1,247 miles in a high-speed endurance test. In other words, it's a short and somewhat tall station wagon. Obviously, unlike the Ford C-Max, this Mercedes is a pure electric car. The batteries are, just like in the Tesla Model S, laying flat inside the floor, which is about 5 inches to 6 inches thick. Tesla also helped Toyota bring to market an all-electric version of its very popular RAV4 small/medium-SUV. Only 2,600 of those cars are being made, and sales started last September. I have driven this outstanding Tesla-based Toyota (TM) on multiple occasions. I highly recommend the Toyota RAV4 electric to anyone interested in an all-electric car, and for whom 110 miles of range will fit the intended purpose. The main difference between the Toyota and the Mercedes is this: In the case of Toyota, Tesla took an existing car and re-designed it to make it an all-electric car. In the case of Mercedes, it looks like Tesla took part in the engineering from Day 1 and is therefore able to better optimize the car for all-electric duty. How will this manifest itself in terms of differences between the Toyota and the Mercedes? The Toyota has a 42-kW battery, and judging from crawling under the Mercedes on a reasonably clean street, I'd say the Mercedes has a 36-kW battery.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV