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)

[Source:DaimlerChrysler]


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.