Daimler will start a trial of 100 full-electric cars in Italy in 2010 and aims to have more battery-powered test fleets operating throughout Europe two years after that.
In 2012, the project will start in a broader range of countries, said Daimler spokesman Winfried Schult without being more specific.
To expand the program quickly, he said Daimler would need strong energy-supply partners in the different countries.
In Italy, Daimlers partner is Enel. The company will develop and set up more than 400 charging stations in the three cities where the electric cars will be available: Rome, Milan and Pisa.
In 2007, Daimler subsidiary Smart started a pilot project in London, to test electric-powered ForTwos. Smart leased 100 units of the battery-powered minicar. The project runs until 2012.
The test fleet for Italy will include ForTwos as well as electric-powered models from Smart sister brand Mercedes-Benz.
Daimler says it expects its A-class models to form part of the electric vehicles which will be tested in Italy.
E-mail Hurtej Kaur at [email protected]