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Currently, fleets in the UK that are testing the all-electric smart ed have to pay Daimler £380 per month per car for the privilege. When the next-generation test vehicles arrive in 2010, Daimler hopes to get the per-month lease cost down to under £200, according to a new report in BusinessCar. Over 100 second-gen smart eds will be tested next year, and some of the cost reduction will come from government incentives in London and West Midlands. These test fleets – along with a similar program coming to the U.S. next year – are building up to the smart ed's general availability in the UK in 2012. Daimler announced in June that small series production vehicles will be available in early 2010. Mercedes-Benz UK's Dermot Kelly told BusinessCar that electric vehicles are the future, thanks to government support. "With the encouragement of Government going forward," he said, "there is a very high probability that in the future a high percentage of cars will be electric and we need to be at the forefront of that."

[Source: BusinessCar]

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