• Jul 13th 2006 at 1:15AM
  • 21
Smart fortwo EV

SMART announced today that it will premiere a new SMART fortwo EV at next week's British Motor Show. Up to 200 of the electric microcars will be built and delivered to the UK, which will serve as the trial market for the "green" vehicle.

The fortwo EV has 30-kilowatts of power, which gives it more zip in normal everyday driving than its gasoline-powered sibling. 0-30 mph arrives in 6.5 seconds, and it tops out at 70 mph. Fully charged, it has a 70-mile operating range.

If the UK trial is a success, one has to believe that "green vehicle" aficionados here in the US will be clamoring for DaimlerChrysler to import the EV in addition to the conventionally-powered fortwo. Furthermore, because the SMART isn't a wildly bizarre-looking oddity like some of the other pure EVs available today, it's more likely that people who normally wouldn't consider an EV will take a second look at the SMART. This'll be interesting to watch.

(More info after the jump)


Press Release:

smart goes electric

The iconic smart fortwo will be available as an electric version, it was announced today. The UK has been selected to run a market trial for the introduction of a fully electric version of the popular two-seater car.

The smart ev (electric vehicle) will make its UK debut at the British Motorshow at ExCeL on 18 July.

The car will be made available on a lease arrangement to selected UK corporate customers with deliveries starting in November.

The smart ev sets a new benchmark in the electric vehicle sector; it has 30kW output and a top speed of 70 mph. It offers even better in-town performance than its petrol powered stablemate, with 0-30 mph in 6.5 seconds. With a range of up to 72 miles, the smart ev is exempt from vehicle excise duty and congestion charge.

The drive train for the smart ev is produced in the UK by technology partner Zytek Group who undertake final assembly of the smart ev in Fradley, near Litchfield.

Dermot Kelly, Managing Director Mercedes Car Group, said: "A market trial of the smart ev is a significant step for the Mercedes Car Group as it is an important part of our commitment to sustainable mobility."

Kelly continued: "We expect to deliver up to 200 units in this market trial phase and will work with corporate partners, to find suitable applications for the ev, and with green energy suppliers to deliver zero emissions from well to wheel."

More than 40,000 smart fortwos have been sold in the UK since the car was launched here in 2000.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 9 Years Ago
      Just re-read the posting and have to laugh at this sentence: "Furthermore, because the SMART isn't a wildly bizarre-looking oddity like some of the other pure EVs..." Maybe next to a clown's car with pink daisies on yellow background and a "chuggah" rubber horn on the fender, this doesn't look bizarre. This is one unique, style with a smashed in front/rear style that reads terribly top heavy. "Where are the other pieces to the car?" is the first reaction most people would have. I'm surprised its picture isn't found in Merriam-Webster next to the definition of bi·zarre:

      "strikingly out of the ordinary: as a : odd, extravagant, or eccentric in style or mode..."
      • 9 Years Ago
      If you use this car as your second vehicle, and you use if for commuting, shopping, shows etc, 70 miles is more than sufficient. The average speed of a car in London is about 10 mph, so the performance is adequate. It is much safer than cycling. There is no urban pollution, The energy efficiency is good, even if the electricity comes from burning coal. You have to remember just how inefficient the ICE is, about 15% in town motoring, if you're lucky. Factoring in the inefficiency of the power station, the grid, the battery, the motor and the drive train, you are going to achieve an overall efficiency of about 30%, twice that of an ICE. As for having a "backup motor", this is feasible, but would put the price up. However, for long term I think an electric vehicle with high efficiency diesel generator (not a hybrid, as there would be no mechanical drive train) is likely to prove increasingly successful in the future, and within 20 years it is likely we'll all be using such vehicles, certainly much more likely than the over-hyped hydrogen vehicle.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Lately what I've been hearing from the ultra capacitors I have a good feeling about the batteries. But basically getting a decent electric car is hardest part of it, you will probably be able to change your batteries as technology evolves. Plus some of the new solar panels on the roof and you'll get some extra free kilometers.

      Being a Smart Fortwo owner I always wanted an electric engine for it, now more than ever, but it just seems to be pushed ahead each time. Personally I would bet on the ultra capacitors' technology for the battery part.
      • 9 Years Ago
      That car looks like it's powered purely by the driver's sense of superiority.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Come on..What batteries are they using? With some of todays battery technologies like Li-ion, Ni-Cad or NiMH, surely they could do better than a rather megre 70-mile range. Mayby they're skimping on the volume of batteries there putting in it...?
      • 9 Years Ago
      Everyone seems put aside by the range, but aside from that, are these any better than a gas powered vehicle?

      We would still burn coal/natural gas/nuclear to create the electricity, and there is the battery recycling to attend to as well. It seems like we are just picking a different evil (not necessarily the lesser of 2). At this range, I say ride your bike.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I doubt 70 miles/day is going to be too short a distance for the average London city dweller. You're not talking about people with the outrageous ave. US commute.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Zytek put together a proposal to Don Panoz's E-motion mobility in Atlanta for an electric smart forTwo a few years ago. I was told that the Swiss battery pack for that car cost $20,000. I had the experience of driving a ford Th!nk city in San Francisco-it is simply amazing how much juice is consumed climbing up steep hills- you'd be lucky to get 15% back on re-gen. An EV might be ok in ... (where??) Remember in Chicago in the winter you have to run a heater and wipers-and in Miami or Phoenix you just might need air conditioning. The other problems with electric cars concern power and heat management-with the amount of voltage required, these EV's generate a lot of heat and require sophisticated control and charging systems. A small Diesel hybrid city car that could get 100 MPG and will run on bio-fuels- 10'long like the original Mini - but tall-and which would seat at least THREE people, would be a world-wide winner. A 2 seat smart car EV is Not the answer.
      • 9 Years Ago
      my husband was verry glad for this ev to come on the market. Only it will be availible in brittain for the moment, but as soon as it will be on the belgium market he will buy one. This is a wonderfull and green vehicle against pollution. We are looking forward and hope we get news from smart.
      • 9 Years Ago
      A good idea and a step in the right direction, but even just as a city car, 70 miles is pretty pathetic. I've come close to driving that on a fun summer's day just driving from shop to restaurant to shop to theater to shop from one end of the city to the other, and I'm not sure I'd like to be that perilously close to running out of charge on the way home. And even just running to work and back, I'd have to charge it up every few days. And if charging it up takes a long time, that could get annoying. I think it'd need around a 120-150 mile range to be more feasible.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Has anyone seen 'Who killed the electric car'? Are DC serious about this - if so, why not get it out to the general publi asap!!! Come on, I want an electric car now, not in ten years time.
      • 9 Years Ago
      "Let's see, a car that is slower, than the already slow (regular) smart"

      Actually if you read the article, it said it accelerates faster than the regular smart.

      Since the are both community golf carts, I would much rather they be electric.
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