The parent company of Mercedes-Benz, Daimler, has signed a deal with automotive parts supplier Bosch to expand their long-standing partnership and cooperate in the development and production of electric drivetrains that will eventually feature in a number of new production models.

The two industry giants have signed a letter of intent and begun negotiations to establish a 50:50 joint venture that should be concluded in the first half of this year, with an aim to start building the drivetrains by as early as next year.

Both companies hope that by bundling their competencies, they can accelerate development advances in electric drivetrains as well as to make a number of synergies.

Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz and Smart brands won’t be the only recipients of the new components, however, as Bosch will also be handling sales to other automakers. Furthermore, we wonder where this leaves Daimler’s existing deal with rival parts supplier ZF, which currently builds electric motors and other related components for several Mercedes-Benz hybrid models such as the S400 and ML450 duo.

In addition to these hybrids, Mercedes-Benz already leases its Smart ForTwo Electric Drive and hydrogen-fueled B-Class F-Cell models, both of which feature zero-emission electric drivetrains. And then, of course, there’s the awesome SLS AMG E-Cell electric supercar, which goes on sale in 2013, as well as a handful of other prototypes.

So following this latest announcement you can expect a lot more zero-emissions electric cars from Mercedes-Benz and Smart in the near future.