Elon Musk is apparently in talks with Daimler to make it happen.
To say that Tesla has a lot going on right now is an understatement. Production of the Model 3 is increasing rapidly, and the automaker is launching the Roadster, Model Y, Semi truck, and an electric pickup within the next few years. Just to add to that workload, Tesla could be teaming up with Mercedes to make an electric van.
Responding to a user on Twitter criticizing the automaker for using service vans that "burn fuel like crazy," Musk pondered the possibility of developing an electric Sprinter van with Mercedes. "Maybe interesting to work with Daimler/Mercedes on an electric Sprinter," he wrote. "That's a great van. We will inquire."
"Lot on our plate, so it's either get van gliders (no battery, powertrain or compute tech) from Daimler & produce sooner or do all & produce later," Musk added. "Not a big difference to total vehicles produced either way."
In Europe, Daimler began selling an electric delivery van called the eVito in the second half of this year, which offers a driving range of around 94 miles. An electric version of the larger Mercedes Sprinter van is also coming in 2019. With Tesla lending its expertise, it's easy to imagine both automakers collaborating to produce an electric commercial van with a bigger battery capacity and a range of 300-400 miles, allowing Tesla to tap into the long-distance van courier industry.
This wouldn't be the first time Tesla has collaborated with Daimler, however, so the idea of the two companies working together isn't too far-fetched. Both companies joined forces to create electric versions of the Smart ForTwo and Mercedes A-class and B-class compact cars, and Tesla supplied powertrains for the B-class from 2014 until 2017.
Daimler also invested $50 million in Tesla back in May 2009, which helped keep the company afloat during the global recession back when the original Roadster was the only car Tesla offered. Daimler later sold its shares in Tesla in October 2014 for $780 million as the Model S became a direct competitor to the Mercedes S-Class.
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