|The smart fortwo ev. Inset photo is of the plug. Click to enlarge.|
DaimlerChrysler will launch the smart fortwo ev in a commercial trial for the UK market at the British Motorshow in London next week. (Earlier post.) The fully electric car will be made available only for leasing to selected UK corporate customers with deliveries starting in November.
DaimlerChrysler says that it wants to do some analysis into the different applications for these cars before considering offering them for sale to the general public. The lease will cost about £370 (US$682) per month, but the final figure will depend on the mileage covered.
The drivetrain for the smart ev is produced in the UK by technology partner Zytek Group, which undertakes final assembly of the smart ev in Fradley, near Litchfield.
The smart ev is powered by a Zebra Sodium Nickel Chloride battery. The smart ev has 30 kW output and a top speed of 70 mph with a range of up to 72 miles (116 km). Acceleration from 0-30 mph takes 6.5 seconds—a faster time than the gasoline-powered version.
A re-charge from 20% to 80% can be achieved in 2-4 hours; a complete recharge takes up to 8 hours.
A market trial of the smart ev is a significant step for the Mercedes Car Group as it is an important part of our commitment to sustainable mobility.
We expect to deliver up to 200 units in this market trial phase and will work with corporate partners, to find suitable applications for the ev, and with green energy suppliers to deliver zero emissions from well to wheel.—Dermot Kelly, Managing Director Mercedes Car Group
More than 40,000 smart fortwos have been sold in the UK since the car was launched there in 2000.