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Tesla developing a Mercedes electric vehicle

The Tesla Model S Signature is shown during

The Tesla Model S Signature is shown during a media preview day at the 2012 North American International Auto Show January 10, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. Credit: Getty Images

Amid reports of losses and progress by Tesla Motors to develop its own lineup of electric vehicles comes news that the carmaker is also helping Mercedes-Benz to develop its own EV.

In Tesla's latest filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the electric startup says it is fully developing a powertrain for a new all-electric Mercedes vehicle. Tesla will design the electric motor, gearbox, inverter and software that will go into the EV, according to the filings.

This project is separate from another one in which Tesla is contracted to give 1,000 lithium-ion battery packs to Mercedes. In exchange, Mercedes made a large investment in Tesla and now owns about 10 percent of the company.

Tesla continues to help develop an electric powertrain for the Toyota RAV4 EV, which is scheduled to go into production in the middle of this year.

Tesla also announced year-end revenue of $204 million, up 75 percent from 2010. Despite bringing in more money, Tesla lost about $254 million in 2011, which is a 65 percent increase in losses compared with 2010. Tesla expects revenue to increase significantly in 2012 once the Tesla Model S goes on sale. The company forecasts year-end revenue to increase to around $550 million to $600 million, with most of the money coming from the latter half of 2012.


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