Smart preparing to launch the first mass-produced electric model

Article by Christian A., on September 17, 2012

Daimler is preparing to launch the first mass-produced electric auto ever from a German manufacturer and hopes that with this move, it will be able to regain its reputation as the urban mobility pioneer. When the Smart car was presented in 1998 by Daimler AG, it had a vision to offer a smog-reducing electric version to strengthen the image of the brand as a leader in the urban transport segment.

However, Smart was left behind by other city cars in terms of innovation. BMW AG's Mini was able to release different variants that range from a roadster to a four-door crossover, considered as a stepping stone to its parent BMW brand.

On the other hand, Smart has just a single model and it hasn’t done much in helping out Daimler's Mercedes-Benz, which wasn’t able to catch up to Audi in sales for the first time in 2011.

Deliveries will begin in the next few weeks in several markets, which include the U.S. Peter de Haan, an auto markets analyst at consulting firm Ernst Basler + Partner in Zollikon, Switzerland, said that Daimler will have to catch up. He added that the e-Smart is relevant to the entire company as a symbol. Smart brand chief Annette Winkler said that on average,

Smart owners travel less than 50 kilometers (30 miles) daily – which falls within the 145 km range of the electric version per charge. This means that the emission-free model is matched well for its diminutive size. In a written response to queries, Winkler said that from the start, Smart was intended to be an electric vehicle.

He wrote that the car is suited to the electric drive so it’s “now paying off.” He added that the battery-powered model is included in Smart’s plan to expand further. Within the next few years, the range will have an electric-powered bicycle, an e-scooter and a four-seat car, comparable to a model presented in the past decade and taken off the market a couple of years after.

Daimler AG’s Smart division is back with a new marketing strategy for the Smart Fortwo electric drive which will surely attract customers to opt for electric mobility. The sale&care model allows customers to buy, lease or finance the vehicle at a budget-friendly price and rent the battery at the same time. Rental cost is inclusive of regular maintenance as well as quick battery replacements when necessary. There are also options for those who want to purchase the whole vehicle.

A Smart Fortwo with sale&care coupe is sold in Germany at €18,910 (inclusive of VAT) and €22,000 for the cabrio version. Standard battery rental costs €65 (also inclusive of VAT) and is available in all sale&care markets. These are surely attractive offers considering the low operating cost of electric driving.

There are various advantages of electric driving including national promotion programs offered in various countries and a range of mobility benefits like the use of special lanes and exemption from city congestion charges. Considering the eco-friendly benefits and affordable everyday driving pleasure that the technological advancement of the Smart Fortwo and sale&care package offers its customers, it’s additional value for money.

For those who want to buy or lease the complete vehicle with battery, Smart offers the new Smart Fortwo electric drive coupe for €23,680 and the cabrio at €26,770 – all inclusive of VAT.

Topics: smart, electric car

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