Full-scale production of the all-electric smart ed will kick off in Hambach, France in 2012, the same place where small series production will start next month. Daimler announced today that it would invest "a double-digit million euro amount" into the Hambach plant so that the smart ed can "be offered to customers through the smart sales network." The announcement came as French President Nicolas Sarkozy paid the plant an official visit today and said that the French government will chip in about 15 percent of the cost of upgrading the plant. The Hambach plant built aroundn 140,000 Smart ForTwo vehicles last year.
Dr. Dieter Zetsche, the Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars who believes that hybrids and pure EVs are a short-term solution on the way to hydrogen, said in a statement that "Emission-free driving in an urban environment is already feasible today." Especially if he means 2012.