Daimler delays the Smart ForTwo electric car

Article by Christian Andrei, on December 20, 2011

The electric version of the ForTwo minicar will start to be delivered by Daimler's Smart subsidiary in September 2012, according to Automotive News Europe. Two months ago, Smart had pledged that deliveries will begin months earlier than next September. The brand considers the electric ForTwo to be its most important launch in 2012.

A Daimler spokeswoman confirmed the revision in the schedule, explaining that the delay is only for three months and that deliveries would have started in June. She said that the plan had to be changed due to the setback with Li-Tec, its battery cell supplier.

When Li-Tec ramped up production, it encountered problems. However, she wouldn’t specify what the issues are related to the manufacturing process. The spokeswoman clarified that the batteries have no technical or quality defects but the company doesn’t want to lower its standards when it comes to quality.

The batteries that the third-generation electric ForTwo will use are produced by a joint venture between Daimler and Deutsche Accumotive, a German supplier Evonic. Li-Tec, the subsupplier of the battery cells, is a separate joint venture between Evonic and Daimler.

According to a press release on Sept. 13, 2011, Daimler announced that the third-generation electric Smart would be offered in over 30 worldwide markets beginning in the spring of 2012. It was in London in 2007 that the first electric Smart test fleet was launched. Since 2009, about 2,000 units of the second generation model, which uses Tesla’s batteries, have been made.

Summer promises to be an exceptional time if you are on the lookout for an electric car. Daimler will be launching the smart fortwo in over 30 countries and already it promises to win awards for its forward-thinking design decisions and innovations.

Head of Smart, Dr Annette Winkler said that they’ve examined the feedback from their customers and they have overwhelmingly voted for an electric drive which was efficient and came with zero-emissions and a great price.

Now installed with a 55 kW magneto-electric motor, the new model, one of the first from the joint venture between Bosch and EM-motive, is powerful and nimble. Furthermore, it is able to accelerate from 0-60 km/h in just 4.8 seconds due to a torque of 130 Nm. The smart fortwo can go from zero to 100 km/h in 11.5 seconds and offers considerably better traction than previous models. Capable now of a much faster maximum speed of 125 km/h, the smart fortwo is speedy and comparable to the previous combustion-engined smart cars.

This lithium-ion battery-electric two-seater can do 145 km on a full charge and has a charge capacity of 17.6 kWh. The extended range has been possible due to the improvements in the battery and it will take up to seven hours to recharge from a charging station or household socket in almost all countries once depleted.

Quick charging in less than one hour

Additional options include the possibly of including a quick charge function. Using the on-board 22 kW charger, it is possible to recharge an empty battery in under an hour by connecting the power cable to a public quick-charging station or “wallbox.”

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