Second-Generation Smart Electric Drive Production Begins in November (With Some Tesla Under the Hood)
Made in France
Daimler has announced that production of the new electric Smart ForTwo will begin in mid-November in Hambach, France. The 14kWh lithium-ion battery pack comes from Daimler partner Tesla Motors, so the diminutive Smart EV will have a bit of Tesla DNA (but don't expect it to do 0 to 60 mph in under 4 seconds).
Smart EV Technical Specifications
This 14kWh li-ion battery pack will power a 30kW electric motor (120 N·m of torque) located at the rear of the car.
"The smart fortwo electric drive accelerates from 0 - 60 kph in 6.5 seconds [which converts to 0 to 37 mph] – just as quickly as a petrol model which it initially leaves behind it. Its maximum speed has been deliberately limited to 100 km/h, a suitable speed for the city," says Daimler.
The top speed was probably set at 100 kph (about 60 mph) to make sure the battery isn't depleted too quickly. After all, 14kWh only gives you a range of about 115 kilometers (71 miles), which is mostly fine if you stay in the city according to studies that show that "cars drive an average of 30 - 40 kilometers per day (19-25 miles) in towns and cities", but might not be enough on the highway.
The price of the electric Smart hasn't yet been released, but Daimler claims that operating costs will be low: "Based on German electricity prices it costs approximately two euros to drive the smart fortwo electric drive for 100 kilometres (even cheaper with off-peak electricity). This is less than the price of two litres of petrol. Electric power is much cheaper in lots of countries. The maintenance costs are considerably lower than those of a smart with a combustion engine as the battery, motor and other components of the electric drive are maintenance-free."
The Smart EV should also be able to take advantage of tax credits in many countries, bringing its cost down.
The first units will go to "selected leasing customers" (four years and 60,000 kilometres), starting in Berlin. But Daimler says that "Further vehicles of the new generation smart fortwo electric drive will take to the roads of Hamburg, Paris, Rome, Milan, Pisa, Madridand they will also be deployed in further projects in Europe. Some of the models will also go to cities in the USA."
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