Electric Smart prototypes have been spotted recharging at the Tesla’s San Carlos facility, leading to speculation that the firm could be developing a new all-electric version of the Smart.
The presence of the cars could be proof that Tesla has entered a partnership with Daimler to work on the Smart ED, the all-electric Smart currently on trial in London.
Last month the Silicon Valley firm was forced to cut 80 jobs and delay development of the Model S, its standalone saloon. However, the company insists that it will reveal the Model S prototype at the Geneva motor show in March 2009.
Tesla chairman Elon Musk has said the company will focus on joint ventures with major motor manufacturers in an effort to shore up its finances. Tesla is considered a market leader in electric cars after it launched the stunning Lotus-based Tesla Roadster.
Insiders at the company have previously revealed to Autocar that there is demand for its services and technology from ‘a significant number’ of major car makers.