Smart Fortwo Electric Drive: The New Generation Smart with Electric Drive


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STUTTGART – March 2, 2010: Spring is in the air at this year's Geneva Motor Show and invites visitors to the smart stand to take a break and recharge their batteries. Minimum stress and easy-going joie de vivre are also declared aims of the new smart fortwo electric drive which has been rolling off the production line at smart's factory in Hambach, France since mid November 2009. Unlike its predecessor, the electrically driven smart fortwo of the second generation is fitted with an innovative and highly efficient lithium-ion battery. It is housed in a space-saving position between the axles, which means that space is not compromised in any way in the intelligent two-seater vehicle. A 30 kW electric motor is fitted at the rear. This provides for good acceleration and high agility with 120 Newton metres of torque that are immediately available. The smart fortwo electric drive can be charged at any normal household socket. In Germany, a full battery charge costs approximately two euros and is sufficient for a range of around 135 kilometres – more than enough for city traffic. smart has made electric drive a practical alternative for mobility with zero local emissions in urban areas. The first models of the new smart fortwo electric drive were handed over to customers in Berlin on 17 December 2009. Further cities in Europe and the USA will follow, allowing the environmentally friendly trendsetter to demonstrate its suitability for everyday use. From 2012 the smart fortwo electric drive will be available to anyone interested.

Marc Langenbrinck, responsible for brand management at smart says "In 1998 smart revolutionised urban mobility with the unique smart fortwo vehicle concept. Now smart is once again taking on a pioneering role and redefining zero-emission urban mobility. We are the first manufacturer to launch a series-produced electric vehicle. Daimler is spearheading electric mobility with the smart fortwo electric drive. The smart fortwo electric drive is a further logical step in the evolution of the smart brand which boasts the fleet with the lowest fuel consumption anyway."

Environmental friendliness and state-of-the-art functionality have been defining features of the smart fortwo ever since it was launched more than ten years ago. Since then its innovative concept has combined sustainable, forward-looking technologies with individual urban mobility. With a length of just over two and a half metres the extremely compact vehicle can also park perpendicular to the flow of traffic. In addition, the space-saving and environmentally friendly two-seater currently has the lowest fleet consumption and it brings its occupants to their destination comfortably and safely. Its design is fresh, youthful, modern and yet sophisticated and has made it an automotive lifestyle icon which shows that mobility, responsibility to the environment and joie de vivre are compatible with one another. The smart fortwo has established a class of its own.

smart fortwo electric drive offers innovative driving fun

The new smart fortwo electric drive, which started rolling off the production line in mid November 2009, is a logical continuation of a very ambitious goal: the production of a well-engineered, attractive city car that has no local exhaust gas emissions i.e. a zero emission vehicle. In 2007 smart kicked off zero-emission motoring in London with its tough city traffic conditions. Since then 100 smart fortwo electric drives of the first generation have been in practical customer operation there. The feedback from the UK capital has been very positive and confirms the high degree of maturity of this vehicle concept. In 2008 smart presented the second generation smart fortwo electric drive, a more advanced electric drive with an innovative lithium-ion battery. Lithium-ion technology has decisive advantages over other types of batteries including better performance, shorter charging times, a long life and high reliability. Marc Langenbrinck says "The second generation smart fortwo electric drive is based on a successful and accepted vehicle concept with character and inherent environmentally friendly characteristics. Its innovative electric battery drive makes it the perfect car for the city: it is agile, economical and climate-friendly. Motoring with zero local emissions in an urban environment has become a reality. This equates to driving fun with no compromises."

Electric drive factored in from the very first concept

The smart fortwo electric drive is a smart fortwo that does not make any compromises with regard to safety, agility, comfort and space. Electric drives have been part of the smart concept right from the start. The later integration of the components needed for electric drive was planned at a very early stage. For example, there is space for the battery in the underfloor between the axles where the tank is located in other smart models. The electric drive module does not limit the space available in the smart fortwo electric drive in any way; there is just as much interior and luggage compartment space as in a smart fortwo with a combustion engine.

Powerful drive

A 30 kW magneto-electric motor is installed at the rear of the new smart fortwo electric drive and reacts directly without delay. Powerful torque of 120 Newton metres is immediately available. This results in a surprising amount of power when pulling away. The smart fortwo electric drive accelerates from 0 - 60 km/h in 6.5 seconds – just as quickly as a petrol model which it initially leaves behind it. After a year of driving the first generation smart fortwo electric drive in everyday conditions on British roads one of the participants in the large-scale London trial said "You can beat anything at the lights". The maximum speed of the smart fortwo electric drive has been deliberately limited to 100 km/h, a suitable maximum speed for the city.

Thanks to the power characteristic of the electric motor, just one single fixed gear ratio is required. There is no need for any gear changing – a major advantage in dense city traffic. To reverse, the engine's direction of rotation changes. "Fantastic and easy to drive. You just get in, turn on and go" was how experienced users from London summed up the smart fortwo electric drive.

The second generation smart fortwo electric drive is powered by a lithium-ion battery developed by Tesla Motors Inc. with capacity of 16.5 kWh. It is simple to charge at any fused 220 Volt socket. A fully charged battery is sufficient for up to 135 kilometres of driving fun (NEDC). This range is more than enough for city traffic as studies have shown that cars drive an average of 30 - 40 kilometres per day in towns and cities. For this, the vehicle only needs to be charged for three hours. At an average speed of 25 - 30 km/h that is normal in city traffic the smart fortwo electric drive can drive for around four to five hours continuously before it needs to be recharged. Plugging the car in overnight will fully recharge the battery.

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