Smart EV Going in Beta Phase
From mid November 2009, the new Smart Fortwo electric drive will roll off the production line at the smart factory in Hambach, France. Unlike its predecessor which had sodium-nickel chloride Zebra batteries, the electrically driven smart Fortwo of the second generation is fitted with a lithium-ion battery.
The battery, supplied by Tesla Motors Inc., has a capacity of 14 kWh, and is housed in a space-saving position between the axles. A 30 kW, 120 Nm electric motor is fitted at the rear. As a dedicated city car, the Smart is limited to a top speed of 100KM/H.
Providing a range of 115KM, the EV is initially being leased to fleet customers in Berlin and other cities in Europe and the USA. Non-fleet customers will be able to purchase the Smart from 2012 onwards.
Leases will be offered for a period of four years and 60,000 kilometres. The first vehicles are destined for the "e-mobility Berlin" project. This is a joint project by Daimler, and energy utility RWE which is supported by the German government and the city of Berlin. It includes setting up a network of electricity charging stations that enable communication between electric vehicles and the power network so that the battery can be charged when electricity is cheapest.
Additional vehicles of the new generation Smart Fortwo electric drive will take to the roads of Hamburg, Paris, Rome, Milan, Pisa, Madrid and they will also be deployed in further projects in Europe. Some of the models will also go to cities in the USA.
Smart did not specify a retail price for the new Fortwo.
Written by: Martin Schwoerer
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