Smart "Electric Drive" goes into production
The Smart Fortwo electric drive is|
expected in Australia during 2012
27th August, 2009
From mid-November 2009 the new Smart Fortwo electric
drive will roll off the production line at the Smart factory in Hambach, France.
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
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
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 115 kilometres –
more than enough for city traffic.
Smart has made electric drive a practical alternative for zero-emission mobility in urban areas.
The new Smart Fortwo electric drive is initially being leased to customers in Berlin and other cities
in Europe and the USA who will subject the environmentally friendly trend setter to intensive
real-world testing in tough everyday conditions.
From 2012 it will be available to anyone interested.
Environmental friendliness and contemporary 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 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 that will roll off the production line from 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. That is, a zero-emission vehicle.
Smart started emission-free driving in the tough everyday conditions of city traffic in 2007 in
London. Since then 100 Smart Fortwo electric drives of the first generation have been in practical
customer operation. 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. The lithium-ion technology has decisive
advantages over other types of batteries including higher performance, shorter charging times, a
long life and high reliability.
Marc Langenbrinck, responsible for brand management at Smart, 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 a clear conscience," said Langenbrinck.
Electric drive taken into account from the start
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.
A 30 kW magneto-electric motor is installed at the rear of the new Smart Fortwo electric drive
and reacts immediately. A high torque of 120 Newton metres is immediately available from rest.
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.
Its maximum speed has been deliberately limited to 100 km/h, a suitable top speed for a city
car which will seldom see a freeway requiring greater speed.
Thanks to the power characteristic of the electric motor, the Smart Fortwo electric drive
needs just one single fixed gear ratio. There is no need for any gear changing – a major advantage
in dense city traffic. To reverse, the engine's direction of rotation simply changes.
The second generation Smart Fortwo electric drive is powered by a lithium-ion battery from
Tesla Motors Inc. with capacity of 14 kWh. It is simple to charge at any fused 220 Volt socket.
A fully charged battery is sufficient for up to 115 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. Plugging the car in overnight will fully recharge the battery.
Electronics optimise the battery charge status and power consumption
Special electronics ensure that all is well with the battery. The electronics also monitor the
charging process and control the capacity display. The vehicle's power electronics supply the
electrical system with electric current from the battery via a DC/DC converter. In addition, they
also control the heating and air conditioning, for example, to minimise the strain on the battery.
Clever drivers can air condition their Smart Fortwo electric drive in advance as long as their
vehicle is being charged at home - the long-standing dream of stationary cooling becomes a
reality! No other car offers this comfortable option.
The second generation Smart Fortwo electric drive is based on the Smart Fortwo coupé/cabrio "passion".
As well as air conditioning with automatic temperature control all the equipment features of the popular
passion equipment line are included. In addition to the battery indicator, an ammeter shows the
consumption and the recuperated energy.
Very low costs
Based on German electricity prices it costs approximately two euros to drive the Smart Fortwo electric
drive for 100 kilometres (even cheaper with off-peak electricity). This is less than the price of two
litres of petrol.
Electric power is much cheaper in many countries. The maintenance costs are considerably lower than
those of a Smart with a combustion engine as the battery, motor and other components of the electric
drive are maintenance-free.
In addition to the low running costs, there are further cost advantages in many countries and
cities. For example, drivers of a Smart Fortwo electric drive are entitled to national subsidies, tax
advantages or exemption from local toll charges such as the city centre congestion charge in London.
Smart Fortwo electric drive in major cities in Europe and the USA
From the end of 2009 the Smart Fortwo electric drive will be delivered to selected leasing customers.
Leases will be offered for a period of four years and 60,000 kilometres. The first vehicles are destined
for the "e-mobility Berlin" project. Here, in cooperation with the energy provider RWE and with the
support of the German government and the city of Berlin, Daimler is providing the conditions for running
battery-driven vehicles with no local emissions. This includes setting up a network of electricity
charging stations that enable intelligent communication between electric vehicles and the power network
so that the battery can be charged when electricity is cheapest.
Further vehicles of the Smart Fortwo electric drive will take to the roads of Hamburg, Paris, Rome,
Milan, Pisa, Madrid and they will also be deployed in further projects in Europe. Some of the models
will also go to cities in the USA.
There is already a very lively demand for the Smart Fortwo electric drive, and from 2012 it will be
produced in large volumes as a normal part of the Smart range and sold via the Smart dealer network.
This underlines the pioneering role of the car brand on the way to attractive individual mobility with
zero local emissions in cities and urban population centres.