I’ve had a “thing” for Daimler’s little Smart car since my trip to Paris in 2006 where I observed that the avenues were lined with legions of diesel Smarts. Since then, the appealing miniature perfection of the snobbish little automotive beast has simply turned my head and turned me on. I’ve subsequently assumed that an electric version must be just around the production corner and probably due to hit assembly lines somewhere in the world. The Smart’s shape does, after all, seem to naturally lend itself to electric drive.
And I was right. Daimler will begin production of the electric Smart ForTwo this month in Hambach, France. The 30 kW electric motor will be powered by a 14 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The rather disappointing 60-miles-per-hour top speed coupled with a 71-mile (or 115-kilometer) range pretty much guarantees that this EV’s primary use will be confined to city driving for now.
Look for fleets of the electric Smart ForTwo in Rome, Milan, Hamburg and other European cities as well as selected U.S. cities, with availability to the public in 2012, according to Autopia. Tesla Motors has lent its engineering and battery expertise to Daimler, and the second-generation Smart forTwo will share some DNA with the Tesla roadster. The electric Smart will accelerate from 0 to 30 mph in 6.5 seconds, which is not exactly Tesla territory. But that is still great performance from the head-turning, efficient little tank of an EV.
Posted by Linda Nicholes
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia under Creative Commons license
A Stack of Smarts