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smart Goes Electric with fortwo EV

Whether or not smart will decide to increase production of the ev, one thing has been established: despite popular belief, the electric car is certainly not dead. Pictured is smart convertible fortwo.

Published: 19-Jul-2006

The smart fortwo, a truly iconic machine known around the world for its diminutive size, has slowly been changing the face of motoring. Its offered in most markets with two different engines, an inline three-cylinder gasoline turbo and a turbodiesel.  In practice the 799 cubic-centimeter turbodiesel, the only engine available in North America from a car company that only sells its wares in the quirky Canadian market, works very well; it makes the fortwo one of the most fuel efficient vehicles to roam the streets. But that hasnt stopped smart from pressing on with an even more efficient power source for its ever-important fortwo.

During December of last year, smarts parent company, DaimlerChrysler, rolled out five different alternative fuel smarts. These models include the Crosstown and Micro-Hybrid, both of which are gasoline-electric hybrids, plus a cdi hybrid which mates the existing diesel engine to a mild hybrid system, as well as a cng-powered model capable of accepting natural gas or straight pump gasoline. And then there was the smart ev (ev standing for electric vehicle). At their introduction, DaimlerChrysler had little to say about these environmentally friendly bite-sized autos. That is, until now.

Starting later this year, smart announced that it would be doing a 200 unit trial run of the pure-electric smart ev. It is to Europe what the GM EV1 was to North America; a real, mass-market production electric automobile. The fortwo is a tiny vehicle by international standards, as small as, and in some cases smaller than some current production electric vehicles on Europes roads. Measuring in at 98.4 in, which is about the same as the Riva G-Wiz, its shorter than the Canadian-built ZENN (Zero Emission No Noise) car.

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