Diamler enters electric car market with all-electric smart fortwo.

All-electric smart fortwo rolls in US

Posted 08.21.2012 in News by Christopher

Diamler’s entry into the electric car market with the announcement of an all-electric Smart Fortwo highlights the company’s recently announced commitment of $20 billion in research and development of clean and safe automobiles.

At a celebration of the tenth anniversary of the smart brand, the one millionth smart fortwo rolled off the production line at the plant in Hambach, France.

Marking the occasion of the smart’s tenth birthday, Dr. Dieter Zetsche, President and CEO of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars presented the new smart electric announcing "The smart electric drive makes zero emission driving in an urban environment a reality."

The new production units will be powered by a Lithium-ion battery delivered by California-based Tesla Motors. The all-electric power train delivers the cost equivalent of 300 MPG, with the lithium-ion batteries providing range of up to 72 miles. The smart electric can plug into an ordinary power outlet for charging. Smart expects the new high tech battery to be maintenance free and depending on use to last up to 10 years.

The smart ev’s Zytek electric motor produces 30kW (40 hp) and propels the dimunitive two-seater to a top speed of 60 mph. It provides slightly better city performance than its gasoline powered sibling, achieving 0-30 mph in 6.5 seconds.
The drive train for the smart ev is produced by technology partner Zytek Group who perform final assembly of the smart ev in Fradley UK.

The ev retains the highly-rated Tridion safety cell from the original smart fortwo, which achieved a four out of five star rating in the Euro NCAP’s crash tests, putting it in par with some large sedans and SUVs in terms of occupant safety. Additional safety equipment includes ESP, ABS brakes, two airbags and seat belt pre-tensioners.

The US will get approximately 1,000 smart evs in 2012.  The UK will also get some of the second-generation cars next year. The second generation smart electric drive will also be fielded in Rome, Milan and Paris. Diamler ultimately plans world-wide distribution, with Dr. Dieter Zetsche, President and CEO of Daimler predicting that the smart “will become a familiar sight on Chinese roads."

The production vehicles follow the development and deployment of 100 prototype market test models that were created by Zytek Group at its technical centre in Fradley, Staffordshire, UK. Testing has been conducted in the UK from 2007 and will continue through 2010. The first demonstration smart fortwo ev was originally unvieled in 2006.

Customers taking part in the UK trial included the Metropolitan Police, universities, local councils, architects and energy companies. Enthusiastic reaction from participants encouraged Diamler to move ahead with the small series  production.


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