A smart Approach to Electric Vehicles

Gary S. Vasilash

If the smart fortwo is a city car—and, arguably, it is—then it makes perfect sense for the vehicle to be an electric car. And the people at Daimler have invested in excess of €200-million to upgrade their plant in Hambach France, to produce variants of the fortwo including one that is powered with a 55-kW electric motor. The plant started producing the smart fortwo electric drive last week.

smart electric

The factory is producing the vehicle right along with its internal-combustion engine models.

The motors are source from Bosch and the 17.6-kWh batteries are from Evonik.

The car is said to go from 0 to 60 km/h in 4.8 seconds, have a maximum speed of 125 km/h, and have a range of some 145 km (that would be 0 to 37 mph, a top speed of 77.6 mph and a range of 90 miles).

There are both coupe and cabriolet versions of the EV. There is an interesting approach to pricing taken by the company. That is, there is a straight-up purchase or the ability to purchase the car then rent the battery for a monthly fee.

So while the coupe can be purchased for €23,680 including battery, the “sale&care” (we don’t know why they don’t put spaces between the words and ampersand, but we also don’t know why the name of the company isn’t capitalized, either) EV coupe can be purchased for in addition to a monthly battery rental of €65.

Said Dr. Annette Winkler, head of smart, about the new vehicle and the investment in the factory, “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.”

The plant has been producing the fortwo since 1998. They’ve produced in excess of 1.3-million vehicles since.