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Daimler Aims to Expand Fuel Cell Partnerships By The End of 2011

Daimler AG (DAI), the world’s third- largest maker of luxury vehicles, is in advanced talks about expanding its fuel cell partners beyond Ford Motor Co. (F) as it targets widescale production of the technology, development chief Thomas Weber said today in an interview at the Internationa Motor Show in Frankfurt.

The Stuttgart, Germany-based maker of Mercedes-Benz vehicles is in talks with other automakers as well as companies that would set up a hydrogen fuel station network, Weber said.

Daimler, which introduced a fuel cell-powered concept vehicle in Frankfurt, plans to produce more than 1,000 B-Class F-Cell vehicles, which are powered by the chemical reaction that creates water. The production run will rise to more than 10,000 with a next generation in 2017, Weber said.

Mercedes plans to expand its fuel cell offering with a sedan below the S-Class by 2017, he said. Daimler and Ford both own stakes in Automotive Fuel Cell Corp.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Reiter at creiter2@bloomberg.net

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