New York – Following the successful launch in European cities the new smart fortwo electric drive will take to the roads of North American cities from the autumn. The electrically powered trendsetter has been rolling off the production line since November 2009 – and due to the huge demand the initial production volume has been increased from 1000 to 1500 vehicles. The second generation smart fortwo electric drive is equipped with an innovative and highly efficient lithium_ion battery. It is neatly accommodated between the axles, which means that space is not compromised in any way in the intelligent two_seater vehicle. A 30 kW electric motor is fitted at the rear. This provides for very good acceleration and high agility with 120 Newton metres of torque that are immediately available. The smart fortwo electric drive can be charged at any normal household socket. The fully charged battery has sufficient power to cover approximately 135 kilometres in accordance with the New European Driving Cycle, making it ideal for urban use. smart has made electric drive a practical alternative for mobility with zero local emissions in urban areas. The first of the new smart fortwo electric drive vehicles were handed over to customers in Berlin at the end of 2009, and the environmentally friendly pioneer will now demonstrate its suitability for everyday use in further cities in Europe, North America and Asia. From 2012 the smart fortwo electric drive will be available to anyone interested in almost 40 smart markets.
A 30 kW magneto_electric motor is installed at the rear of the new smart fortwo electric drive and reacts directly without delay. Powerful torque of 120 Newton metres is immediately available. This results in a surprising amount of power when pulling away. The smart fortwo electric drive accelerates from 0 _ 60 km/h in 6.5 seconds – just as quickly as a petrol model which it initially leaves behind it. After a year of driving the first generation smart fortwo electric drive in everyday conditions on British roads one of the participants in the large_scale London trial said "You can beat anything at the lights". The maximum speed of the smart fortwo electric drive has been deliberately limited to 100 km/h, a suitable maximum speed for the city.
Thanks to the power characteristic of the electric motor, just one single fixed gear ratio is required. There is no need for any gear changing – a major advantage in dense city traffic. To reverse, the engine's direction of rotation changes. "Fantastic and easy to drive. You just get in, turn on and go" was how experienced users from London summed up the smart fortwo electric drive. The second generation smart fortwo electric drive is powered by a lithium_ion battery developed by Tesla Motors Inc. with electrical energy of 16.5 kWh. It is simple to charge at any fused 220 Volt socket. A fully charged battery is sufficient for up to 135 kilometres of driving fun (NEDC). This range is more than enough for city traffic as studies have shown that cars drive an average of 30 _ 40 kilometres per day in towns and cities. For this, the vehicle only needs to be charged for three hours. At an average speed of 25 _ 30 km/h that is normal in city traffic the smart fortwo electric drive can drive for around four to five hours continuously before it needs to be recharged. Plugging the car in overnight will fully recharge the battery.