Mercedes, Lexus, Hyundai, Smith Electric Vehicles, Renault.
Electric B-class now in production: Mercedes-Benz has started production of the new B-class Electric Drive at its Rastatt plant, Germany. Sales of the Tesla-powered car will start in the U.S. this summer with the European market following at the end of this year. UK buyers might have to wait for a right-hand drive version until 2015 though.
Lexus NX unveiled: Just before its actual debut in Beijing, the Japanese carmaker has released details of its hybrid compact SUV. The hybrid Lexus NX is powered by the same drive as the IS300h but will come with front and all-wheel drive. Lexus is also introducing a new 2-litre turbo engine for the NX.
ix35 FC delayed: Hyundai’s hydrogen car was expected to arrive in the U.S. in March but the company has now said shipments of the H2 Tuscon from Korea are delayed for at least another month. In any case, Hyundai does not expect to see more than 100 vehicles on American roads this year.
Smith EVs to resume operations: CEO Bryan Hansel has now said that production at Smith Electric Vehicles has not stopped (we reported) but is being suspended. Production processes and the supply chain for the electric trucks need to be restructured before a new attempt to become profitable will be started this summer.
Renault production: French daily Les Echos reports the French carmaker is considering to cut one of two shifts at its plant in Flins, where the Zoe is built amongst other models. This would reduce the annual output from 140,000 to 110,000 cars.