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DaimlerChrysler Confirms Launch of smart EV

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.



Why can't governments build electric cars in volume like they do military equipment and then turn around and sell them to the public? If they requested 50,000 (or double) of these things wouldn't that force the price down a bit. They would sell like hotcakes at around $18,000 a pop. The public should demand it.

Jeffrey Lodde

The world needs this car. I have had my four two for a couple of months now and there is so much interest in is it an EV or hybrid. I was originally looking for an EV because 99% of my driving is in town and around the local University where I work. The students that I talk to are becoming very environmentally aware of what they need to do to help save their future. They are demanding the university be more eco friendly. The Smart EV needs to get to the US like yesterday!


The smartest thing any government can do is offer a reward to any car manufacturer that can make a car on the following spec's. Gets 125 miles per charge while averaging 55 miles per hour. Can go up to 70 miles per hour. Cost no greater than $12,000. Reward should be large enough to make all car companies compete, say around the 5 Billion dollar range. This would be ideal for everyone who commutes to work, takes kids to and from school. Daily chores (post office, market, meetings) The majority of gas goes to all of the above, if we can replace it with an EV that works and is affordable. NO more putting money into OPEC's pocket or oil companies pockets. I hope to live to see that day.


Most common, non aesthetic, arguments agaisnt this model in particular and EV's in general:

1.Electric Power comes from burning fossil fuels or worse.

True now but giving the dropping price on solar, eolic and other renewables technology if you have 20 sqmtrs of photovoltaics at 15% efficiency in almost all countries it would be enough for 5-6 charges of the smart ev per week. A solar panel may pay itself in household electrical costs over 5-15 years but if you also use them to charge your car it pays itself in 3 years (and gas tends to go up while price and efficiency in solar tech goes down).
And even if fossil fuels are still used anyway it is still better to keep them off the city and from where we live and instead have emissions in more controlled environments...

2.When Fuel Cells appear EV cars are gonna be like Betamax.

Or the other way around:EV is based on infrastructure and knowledge that already exists and is applied on a daily basis in almost anywhere in the world- mass conversion could happen in a few years and is viable in a small scale right now for EV. Fuel cells are more efficiency but one of the main obstacles for both solutions: adaptation of production infrastructure is higher.

3.They are way heavier and s-l-o-w - it looks like I'm driving a Happy Meal toy and I feel emasculated!

Whatever. Adjust your habits to your needs and don't be selfish. Also, join a gym or something and build up some self confidence, jeez.

Michael Smith

I am interested in the EV version immediately. Please notify me when this is available in Texas. Thank you.
Michael Smith

Brandon Le Doux

I want to purchase a SMART EV now! Please, I will be your Test Market!

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