Daimler and RWE planning electric car network for Berlin

German automaker Daimler and RWE, one of the country's largest energy providers, announced on Friday a pilot project to create a fleet of electric cars and charging stations across Berlin.

Daimler and RWE planning electric car network for Berlin
Angela Merkel charges the Smart car at the announcement on Friday. Photo: DPA

The “e-mobility Berlin” scheme will be the largest of its kind in the world and is set to start by 2010, the two companies said in a statement.

“The initiative embraces all components of efficient use of battery-powered vehicles – from modern, innovative drive technology to customer-friendly infrastructure,” the statement said.

Daimler plans to bring more than 100 Smart model cars to the German capital to kick off the project and will increase the fleet with a second model later on.

RWE will build a network of some 500 charging stations to service the fleet around the city. Payment for using the stations will be through a communication system between the vehicles and the stations.

The German government will support the project because of its contribution to sustainable mobility in the future, the companies said.

“Our mobility concept sets up an integrated solution that combines everyday electric cars and a charging system built to suit them,” said Daimler head Dieter Zetsche. “This way we’re improving the customer friendliness and usability of electric cars.”