BOCHUM -- Daimler AG aims to ensure its dealer and service network is ready within two years for the introduction of electric cars, Thomas Weber, the company's development chief, said.
Dealers must be completely familiar with the company's electric cars for the new models to be successful, Weber said.
He was speaking on the sidelines of an event organized by the University of Duisburg-Essen's Center for Automotive Research in Bochum.
"The expertise must be available in service shops by 2012," he said. "The entire organization has to be trained on the issue of high-voltage power."
Daimler plans a multi-stage rollout for sales and distribution of its electric cars.
Weber said competitors that will soon put electric cars in their showrooms underestimate the lead times required to build up a competent service network for electrically powered vehicles.
He said innovations do not simply come of auto show stands and into volume production.
Daimler will deliver the first 1,000 electric versions of its Smart microcar to leasing customers this year. Starting in 2012, Daimler's aim is to build at least 10,000 e-Smarts a year.
Electric cars won't diminish tarnish the Daimler brand, Weber said. "Even in the electric age, the drivetrain will be part of the essence of the Daimler brand," he said.