As of today, buyers in Germany will be able to order the new, third-generation Smart Fortwo Electric Drive in either coupe or cabriolet versions. The all-electric models started production in late 2009. What's interesting is that the all-electric coupe will be available for either 18,910 euros ($23,625 U.S. at today's exchange rates) plus a 65-euro-a-month ($81) battery lease or you can flat out buy the car for 23,680 euros ($29,586). The cabrio models cost 22,000 euros ($27,486) with the lease or 26,770 euros ($33,446) outright. The car will go on sale in over 30 other markets later.

Readers with good memories will note that these numbers are higher than expected. Originally, after all, Smart head Annette Winkler said the car would cost a lot less. Last September, she said, "We are offering the new electric smart within our sale&care model for considerably less than EUR 16,000 before tax – plus less than EUR 60 per month for battery rental." That would be $19,990 and $75, respectively. Even with the 19 percent VAT factored in, that would have come to 19,040 euros ($23,788). Along with the higher price, some of the performance numbers have gone up as well, compared to what was previously announced. The third-gen electric Smart has a 30-kW (55-kW peak) electric motor that can now push the little car to above 120 kilometers an hour (75 miles per hour) and deliver a 0-60 time of just 4.8 seconds. The 17.6-kWh battery offers a range estimated at 90 miles. Also, we had heard that he launch of the third version of the ED had been pushed back to the fall of 2012, so today's announcement that the car is now available is welcome news.

*UPDATE: Hybrid Cars is reporting that the Smart ED will cost $26,990 (coupe) or $29,990 (cabriolet) in Canada. There is no mention of battery leasing.
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Start of Production and Sales of the New smart fortwo electric drive

Hambach, France, Jun 12, 2012

smart plant in Hambach, France, all set for the future

Investments of more than €200 million in the site

Starting signal: smart fortwo electric drive available for order in Germany on June 12

Dr. Annette Winkler: "The new smart electric drive and the expansion of the Hambach plant are two important milestones for the future of smart."


Hambach, France – Daimler AG started production of the new smart fortwo electric drive at the smart Hambach plant. Like the models with combustion engines, the electric vehicle is now rolling off the production line in the standardised production process. Furthermore, Daimler invests more than €200 million to upgrade the site and secure its future.

"The new smart electric drive and the expansion of the Hambach plant are two important milestones for the future of smart", said Dr. Annette Winkler, Head of smart. "With the new smart electric drive we are further expanding our leading position in urban mobility and making fully electric driving accessible to everyone. For this – and for the successor generation to the current smart – we are making significant investments in the Hambach site. And I am convinced that this is money extremely well invested."

Dr. Joachim Betker, Head of the smart plant in Hambach, emphasised the ground-breaking integration of the electric version in the production process: "For the first time we have realised the consistent and perfectly integrated production of models with electric drive and those with combustion engines. In production, we are now optimally utilising the smart vehicle concept's immanent potential for different drive systems."

Goodbye, filling stations – the new smart fortwo electric drive

12 June 2012 – this date marks the start of sales* for the first real alternative to the usual refuelling stops. With the launch of the new smart fortwo electric drive, in future smart customers can enjoy even more fun at the wheel of an attractively priced vehicle that has the familiar compact dimensions - as a coupé or a cabriolet. The most important feature distinguishing it from its siblings with conventional engines is the fact that it has no exhaust, which means that it does not produce any emissions on the road.

With its 55kW electric motor the smart fortwo electric drive accelerates from 0 - 60 km/h in 4.8 seconds, and with a maximum speed of 125 km/h driving pleasure is also guaranteed on urban motorways. The 17.6 kWh battery enables the urban two-seater to travel approximately 145 kilometres in city traffic without producing any local emissions. As those components each come from joint ventures with the German companies Bosch (EM-motive) and Evonik (Deutsche ACCUmotive) and as the vehicle is built in the plant in Hambach (France), the new smart fortwo electric drive is the first true European electric car.

The new sale&care model makes opting into electric mobility particularly attractive: it offers customers an opportunity to buy, finance or lease the vehicle at an attractive price and to rent the battery for a monthly fee. Purchase, financing or leasing of the vehicle including the battery is also possible.

Prices in Germany (including 19% VAT):

sale&care
Coupé
Cabrio
smart fortwo electric drive
18.910,00 €
22.000,00 €
Battery-rent
65,00 €/month


Vehicle including battery
Coupé
Cabrio
smart fortwo electric drive
23.680,00 €
26.770,00 €


Delivery in Germany starts in late summer, all other markets - a total of more than 30 - will follow successively.

*may vary in individual markets

Significant investments in expansion and modifications

The company is making significant investments in the plant to secure its future. The total investments for the expansion and modification of the plant plus preparatory measures for the successor series to the current smart exceed €200 million. The largest individual project with a total investment of more than €50 million is the new paint shop where an environmentally-friendly liquid painting process that meets the current Daimler Group standard for passenger car plants will replace the present powder painting process. The new paint shop will thus greatly expand the variety of paint colours that can be realised, which means that in future smart customers will also be able to choose the colour of the tridion safety cell of their smart from all available paint finishes.

A success story: the smart plant in Hambach

The smart plant in Hambach was inaugurated in 1997 and has produced the smart fortwo since 1998 – in its second generation since 2007. In 2011 more than 103,000 vehicles rolled off the production line. Approximately 1,500 people work at the site, consisting of about 800 employees at the plant itself and a further 700 at the seven local system partners. The one millionth smart fortwo was built in September 2008, coinciding with the tenth birthday of the brand. To date more than 1.3 million vehicles have left the plant.

The plant in Lorraine has always stood for an innovative production concept. The assembly line has the shape of a "plus" symbol to enable it to optimally meet assembly and logistics requirements, ensuring highly efficient production processes. This principle enables system partners and suppliers to deliver modules right to the assembly line. Transport and logistics are therefore reduced to a minimum – an advantage not least also in ecological terms. In addition, the construction principle of the vehicle and a modern energy concept ensure that the smart brand's ecological product responsibility is translated into the production: For example, smartville has its own thermal power station that produces heat for the plant and covers approximately 25 per cent of its demand for electricity. In the site's sewage treatment plant, the wastewater is immediately treated at its origin, using a membrane filter system. The quality of the treated wastewater is superior to the quality of the natural waters it is discharged into.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 53 Comments
      mazdamattyp5
      • 2 Years Ago
      "Smart has a 30-kW (55-kW peak) electric motor that can now push the little car to above 120 kilometers an hour (75 miles per hour) and deliver a 0-60 time of just 4.8 seconds. The 17.6-kWh battery offers a range estimated at 90 miles." Holy christ. 0-60mph in 4.8s AND a 90mile range?!?!
      Anderlan
      • 2 Years Ago
      I like the option to either lease the battery or buy it. It may open up the possibility that the manufacturer might want to offer a smaller battery for less money. HELLO! I don't need 80 miles for a runabout. I'll take 25. Also, smaller battery means shorter charge time. The Mitsubishi i EV needs 22 hours[!!] to recharge fully on American 110V. A smaller battery would save me having to buy a charger. Let me buy a cheap 25 mile-battery runabout if I want one, please!
        Marco Polo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Anderlan
        Anderlan, It's not much of an 'option', The battery lease is just a form of buying, whatever happens , you will be obligated to pay the full cost of the battery. If that is all you need for your EV to provide, the Th!nk is still available in the US, for about $15,000 ! (or less). In fact some quite well built, used conversions, are available for even less.!
        Ele Truk
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Anderlan
        Wow, really? Your probably the first person I've ever heard that has said 25 miles would be enough! Seems everybody wants a minimum of 100 miles. Shorter charge time is like faster fill time with a smaller tank. "I only have a 1 gallon tank, it only takes 10 seconds to fill" somewhat ignores you will have to refill more often.
          SVX pearlie
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ele Truk
          If I can charge at work, 25 miles (at highway speeds of 75 mph) would be OK. But I'd like some reserve for errands / heater / AC.
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ele Truk
          Well, everyone who has bought a Leaf has said that 73 miles was enough for them. Sure, they can get better range than that right now but as the battery ages, it will drop down to that. And 73 miles is enough for many people's daily driving. The 62 on the Mitsubishi-i is cutting it a bit short though.
        JakeY
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Anderlan
        "The Mitsubishi i EV needs 22 hours[!!] to recharge fully on American 110V" That's an irrelevant comparison. All you care about is the miles/hour you can charge at. Having a smaller battery doesn't change that number. No one says you have to charge your EV from 0% to 100% every day. All a bigger battery means is there will be more reserve available when you need it.
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Anderlan
        "Also, smaller battery means shorter charge time." This is terrible logic. You could just not deplete the larger battery as much or not charge it all the way to full. And, actually, the larger battery will have a 'shorter' charge time since batteries charge fast initially be the charge slows down near the end.
      SVX pearlie
      • 2 Years Ago
      OK, apples-to-apples, how much are the MIEV and Leaf when they're sold heads-up against the Smart EV?
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'd like to know the U.S. pricing. I suspect the Mitsubishi-i is a better deal.
        brotherkenny4
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        For me personally the 90 mile range is important. I'd already have the mitsubishi if it had a slightly better range. If the Smart EV comes to america at the stated price i'll buy one.
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @brotherkenny4
          Careful on that range. I'm sure it gets good range with city driving but the aerodynamics of the Smart Car are terrible such that freeway driving range will not be good.
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      Maybe the Smart ED will be Germany's "People's car" for the 21st century. They can plug it into their vast German solar arrays. Oil-free, nuclear-free driving. (Not so good during the winter though when they get very little sun.)
        DaveMart
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        The sun runs on nuclear energy, last I heard.
        Marco Polo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        During this period Germany buy's Nuclear Power from France !
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          Shhhh! (Germans stick their fingers in their ears.) Well, they are building lots of coal plants . . . but those are probably worse than nuclear.
      budfox
      • 2 Years Ago
      "flat our buy the car for 23,680 euros ($29,586)" In fact €19,899 before tax incl. battery. Distracting to convert the gross price to US dollar since you don't pay 19% VAT anyway.
      • 2 Years Ago
      4.8 seconds to 60?!?!
      Paul Felix Schott
      • 2 Years Ago
      Energy has driven the world for over a thousand years Wind, Hydro and Solar are the oldest forms of energy giving power to all smart enough to use it. In the last 200 years Coal, Oil and Nuclear has given energy to many worldwide and great power and wealth to only a few. At the cost of many lives in coal Mines, Oil Spills, Radiation, Cancer and Polluting the Air and Water on all of the Earth. Unfortunately for the wicked there is not an unlimited amount of oil on earth. Just the same as the Forest Trees that clean the air and make Oxygen we breath and all living on earth need to Live. As some in denial are not able to recognize or ever see or live with blinders on. Doctors and Drug ceo's have been making millions prescribing drugs to many that live near or by High polluted areas that hurt breathing our lungs and harm our children and all. That we all pay for. When all they need is Clean Air and Water, and Clean Cities. Now common sense would be for all to look for a clean fuel Wind, Hydro, Geothermal and Solar. Renewable Energy is eliminating the need for Dirty Energy Worldwide at a record pace. With Solar Energy Clearly the front runner. To the fear of some of the richest people on Earth. They to surprisingly are doing something extraordinary investing in Solar Energy. After years of many of them trying to under mine it. Fuel that makes energy to ship goods, or make electric for homes and manufacturing. Can transform whole nations into prosperity and wealth or poverty and economic hardships for most all. Just as taxes on taxpayers has done. For over two thousand years. Making slaves of many to the wicked and unjust few. History Lesson Roman Empire, Persian Empire now OIL Empire oh sorry OPEC. The Freedom to get your own Power from the Wind and Sun, Solar Energy has been there for years. Are Libraries and Schools should have been the first to have gone Solar and Renewable Energy. And why are they not? Churches are all over the Planet. They are going to Solar Energy. Thank GOD for the Pioneers like John Schaeffer that Started Real Goods The first and Best catalog for Renewable Energy and Scientist Bill Young at the FSEC Florida Solar Energy Center and Monica D. Key Lindbergh for many years wrote to legislators promoting Solar and Renewable Energy and many others. These Pioneers helped put Wind, Solar And Renewable Energy in the Spotlight for all the World to see. One of The Greatest Scientists ever Albert Einstein Stared it with a Dream that the day would come that all the World would use Solar Energy. His many years of work with the law of the "Photoelectric Effect", and showing this to the World won him the Nobel Prize in Physics. For the "Photoelectric Effect" Free Energy From the SUN in the heavens above. We still do not teach this to our young. Very soon Hybrid Vehicles and (EV's) Electric Vehicles will out number the ones that need oil and gas to go. With the ability to recharge them at home and work from the sun. Tesla Motors with its new Model S electric sedan, will be one of many the World will see soon. Honda, Nissan, Audi,VW, BMW and Volvo are just some of the Car Companies putting into production Electric Vehicles a EV, and many more are and many are building Electric / Hybrid Vehicles. The DeLorean Motor Company will be putting into production by 2013 a DMC-EV Electric DeLorean, that will have a body and power plant that will last you a life time. Just think you can recharge them at home and work free from the sun Solar Energy. The Lord's Little Helper Paul Felix Schott Now to own a car that will never rust way and runs on the power from the sun that's the one for me.
        Marco Polo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Paul Felix Schott
        @ Paul Felix Schott, There endth the sermon ! Paul, most ABG readers have been reading posts like your for years. Unfortunately, the combination of sermonising and idealistic over-stated, and unrealistic claims for utopian technology, seems like the simplistic fantasies of a comic book utopia ! This type of earnest exhortation plays well to the flock of converted, but has been counter-productive with the general public, who have lost interest.
          Turbo Froggy
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          I know, geez... Hey Paul, go buy an EV today and solar panels today. None of this is technology that is years away. Solar powered EV is possible today, stop flapping your gums and go do it!! With a 7KW solar array and two EVs traveling over 23K miles a year total, I am living your utopian fantasy today. Less sermon more doing...
          Marco Polo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          @Turbofroggy, Amen !
      Dave D
      • 2 Years Ago
      I don't like the Smart cars...too small for my taste (and my weekend toy is a little Toyota MR2 I bought LOL). But it would seriously make sense down town in many European cities and someone is finally getting the price right on an EV!
      mazdamattyp5
      • 2 Years Ago
      So $26,300 USD for this car? If that is the case then I can see no reason NOT to buy one. It meets my size and range requirements. While I'd prefer a lower price tag it's much more competitive than the Leaf (even though they aren't in the same class). I think this will hold me over until I can walk in off the street and pick up a Tesla S or buy one used!
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 2 Years Ago
      viel zu teuer
      Rotation
      • 2 Years Ago
      17.6kWh is 90 miles in a pig's ear. This is going to be more like 60 miles range. And that's before you start talking about leaving a safety margin.
        Exooc news
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Rotation
        I did drive second generation... 100km and 20% of battery left
        DaveMart
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Rotation
        They do say in city driving - ie no even moderately high speeds. Your guess is probably about right on the EPA cycle. The 2nd generation Smart had only a 14kwh battery, so things are looking up! ;-) You are far less likely to use this for highway travel than even the Leaf though, so the range is probably fine for what it is designed for, City travel. In the UK at least it is difficult to do much more than 30-40 miles in a day in city traffic.
        Spec
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Rotation
        Well . . . that is a bigger battery than the Mitsubishi-i that has an EPA rated 62 mile range. And Smart is lighter (I think). So it might have a good posted city range. I just think the brick shape of the Smart will cause it to have a weak freeway speed range. Sadly, the current EPA rating system doesn't really provide real freeway ratings since the EPA 'highway' rating is at an average of like 48 mph. Who drives 48 on the freeway?
          DaveMart
          • 1 Day Ago
          @Spec
          @Spec: Perhaps in the US. In Europe and much of Asia, it works fine and you can drive a car in the cities without ever going over 50 mph.
          DaveMart
          • 1 Day Ago
          @Spec
          'Who drives 48 on the freeway?' Someone driving a Smart EV with the battery running low! ;-) Seriously, if you are spending any considerable time on the highway, then you have chosen the wrong car. It's about 2000 lbs lighter than a Leaf, so regardless of what the EPA range figures say, driven where it is comfortable, in the city, the range should be perfectly fine, likely more than the Leaf.
          Spec
          • 1 Day Ago
          @Spec
          But if you don't drive on the highway at all then why do you really need a car at all? I learned that this is NOT using the Tesla batteries . . . these are locally sourced German batteries. I guess they were not so impressed by the Tesla battery technology.
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