Daimler starts sales and production of Smart ForTwo electric car

Article by Anita Panait, on June 12, 2012

Daimler beat fellow German carmaker BMW in introducing an emission-free vehicle model first by commencing sales and production of its smart ForTwo electric car. Daimler started building the Smart ForTwo at its Hambach plant in France, which is currently undergoing more than EUR200 million in upgrades. The company will start delivering the ForTwo vehicles later this year.

According to Annette Winkler, smart’s global head, the upgrade of the Hambach site includes the accommodation of the production of the electric-powered smart and the next generation of the city car.

The smart ForTwo boasts of being able to travel 145 kilometers before it runs out of battery power. Customers could opt to lease or purchase smart ForTwo’s battery. If a customer chooses to lease the battery, he would have to shell out EUR65 a month, on top of the acquisition price of the smart ForTwo at EUR18,910. However, if a customer decides to purchase the battery, he would have to pay a total of EUR23,680.

Rival carmaker Renault plans to lease the battery pack of its Zoe model, for EUR80 to EUR100 monthly, allowing it to attach  the subcompact with a price tag of EUR15,700 when it becomes available to the public later this year.

Renault is also leasing the battery pack in its Kangoo ZE, Fluence ZE and Twizy vehicles. The carmaker’s policy defies the tide in Europe, where other auto manufacturers sell their electric vehicle models and batteries as one package. These models include Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Nissan Leaf, Peugeot iOn and Citroen C-Zero.

"The new smart electric drive and the expansion of the Hambach plant are two important milestones for the future of smart", said Dr. Annette Winkler, Head of smart. "With the new smart electric drive we are further expanding our leading position in urban mobility and making fully electric driving accessible to everyone. For this – and for the successor generation to the current smart – we are making significant investments in the Hambach site. And I am convinced that this is money extremely well invested."

June 12, 2012 marks the beginning sign for the first authentic alternative to the typical refueling stops. With the debut of the new smart fortwo electric drive, future savvy clients can appreciate much more fun in the driver's seat of an alluringly valued vehicle that has popular compact measurements - as a coupé or a cabriolet. The most critical component differentiating it from its kin with conventional engines is that it doesn't make any emissions on the road.

With its 55kW electric engine, the intelligent fortwo electric drive accelerates from 0-60 km/h in 4.8 seconds. And with a max velocity of 125 km/h, driving excitement is ensured as well on urban motorways. The 17.6 kWh battery powers the urban two-seater to drive around 145 kilometers on city roads without making any local emissions. The new sale&care variant makes choosing into electric local emissions especially appealing: it offers clients a chance to purchase, finance or rent the vehicle at a competitive price and to lease the battery for a month to month expense.

Broad experience and client feedback from different electric mobility projects were coordinated in the further improvement of the intelligent fortwo electric drive. As far back as 1998, the smart car has been reimagining urban versatility like no car before it. Compact, environmentally friendly, durable and stylish - it has advanced from a useful little auto to a lifestyle product and has long turned into a popular sight on the streets of urban areas around the globe.

Starting this summer, the intelligent fortwo electric drive will be drawing in wide-ranging clients in more than 30 countries with its advanced and modern drive concept.

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