|The smart electric drive. Click to enlarge.|
Series production of the second-generation electric drive smart fortwo (earlier post) will begin in mid-November 2009 at the smart factory in Hambach, France. The second-generation smart fortwo EV is fitted with a 14 kWh lithium-ion battery pack from Tesla Motors (earlier post), housed in a space-saving position between the axles.
A 30 kW electric motor is fitted at the rear and offers 120 N·m of torque. The smart fortwo electric drive accelerates from 0 - 60 km/h in 6.5 seconds – just as quickly as a gasoline model which it initially leaves behind it. Its maximum speed has been deliberately limited to 100 km/h, a suitable speed for the city, according to smart.
Due to the power characteristic of the electric motor, the smart fortwo electric drive needs just one single fixed gear ratio. There is no need for any gear changing – an advantage in dense city traffic. To reverse, the engine's direction of rotation changes.
The smart fortwo electric drive can be charged at any 220V normal household socket. A fully charged battery is sufficient for up to 115 kilometers (71 miles) of driving (NEDC). Studies have shown that cars drive an average of 30 - 40 kilometers per day in towns and cities. For this, the vehicle only needs to be charged for three hours. Plugging the car in overnight will fully recharge the battery.
The vehicle’s power electronics supply the electrical system with electric current from the battery via a DC/DC converter. In addition, they also control the heating and air conditioning to minimize the strain on the battery. Drivers can air condition their smart fortwo electric drive in advance as long as their vehicle is being charged at home. No other car yet offers this option.
The new second generation smart fortwo electric drive is based on the smart fortwo coupé/cabrio passion. As well as air conditioning with automatic temperature control all the equipment features of the popular passion equipment line are included. In addition to the battery indicator, an ammeter shows the consumption and the recuperated energy.
Based on German electricity prices it costs approximately two euros to drive the smart fortwo electric drive for 100 kilometers (even less with off-peak electricity). This is less than the price of two liters of gasoline. The maintenance costs are considerably lower than those of a smart with a combustion engine as the battery, motor and other components of the electric drive are maintenance-free.
From the end of 2009 the smart fortwo electric drive will be delivered to selected leasing customers. Leases will be offered for a period of four years and 60,000 kilometers. The first vehicles are destined for the e-mobility Berlin project.
Further vehicles of the new generation smart fortwo electric drive will take to the roads of Hamburg, Paris, Rome, Milan, Pisa, Madridand they will also be deployed in further projects in Europe. Some of the models will also go to cities in the USA.
Starting in 2012, the electric drive smart will be produced in large volumes as a normal part of the smart range and sold via the smart dealer network.