Daimler is getting ready to beef up the Smart Fortwo Electric Drive for the third-gen version, but the new EV won't be arriving on schedule, according to new reports. The problem has something to do with the lithium-ion batteries. The cells are being made by Li-Tec and a Daimler spokeswoman told Automotive News that, "There are no technical or quality problems with the batteries, but we don't want to lower our sights in safeguarding quality. That's why we're accepting a delay." Li-Tec is a joint venture between Evonic and Daimler. Another Evonic/Daimlar JV, Deutsche Accumotive, is responsible for building the packs.

Previously, Daimler had said the new Smart ED would launch in the spring of 2012, but this delay pushes that back until September. If the numbers we're hearing about the next-gen ED come to pass – 87-mile range, a bigger (30-kW) motor, 240V charging in less than 60 minutes and a pre-incentive price of $22,000 – it'll certainly be worth the wait.


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