Electric transport is very much accepted by the public in China, giving this country the opportunity to be a major innovator, according to Olivier Boulay, chief of Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Center in China. He pointed out that electric scooters are a common sight in China. They don’t use the most advanced technology but the sight of them is inspiring. Mercedes-Benz had opened a design center in Beijing in July -- its first one in China.
This studio is where vehicles for Mercedes-Benz and its joint venture with BYD Co. would be designed. Boulay is the designer tasked for the electric car that Mercedes is developing with BYD.
They will debut a concept EV at the Beijing auto show this April. Meanwhile, a production version is expected to arrive in 2013. Boulay revealed that his Beijing studio will add 8 more designers to its current dozen in 2012.
This means that it will be the same size as Mercedes' Tokyo design center. Boulay shared that his experiences in driving his 300 Euro e-scooter in Beijing gave him the inspiration for an electric-powered scooter for Mercedes' Smart brand. Boulay, who opened the Tokyo studio in 1993, said that he believes that the European market is ready for the Smart e-scooter too. [source: Autonews]