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Electric Smart Car Planned for China

December 15, 2009

BEIJING, CHINA --- Daimler AG plans to launch a pilot program for an electric version of its Smart minicar in China in 2010, the Wall Street Journal reported. 

Daimler is still deciding which cities to test the cars in, according to Ulrich Walker, chairman of Daimler Northeast Asia. Walker addressed reporters in a year-end briefing. "We have to see the acceptance of this car," he said. 

The Chinese central government announced last week that it will subsidize private purchases of alternative-fuel vehicles in five cities. 

Daimler's Mercedes-Benz unit already sells the S400 Hybrid in China -- a vehicle based on conventional hybrid technology. 

Nissan, GM and Toyota have also announced plans to test-market new green vehicles in China. Toyota said it will probably test-market a plug-in hybrid. Nissan plans to test-market its Leaf EV in Wuhan, China, in 2011. GM plans to launch the Chevy Volt in China in 2011 as well.

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