After being launched on the European market, Daimler is now announcing that the Smart Fortwo electric drive is coming to US and Canada.
The second generation Smart Fortwo electric drive is powered by a lithium-ion battery positioned between the two axles and a 30 kW electric motor at the rear of the car which together car deliver 120 Nm. With a fully charged battery the Smart Fortwo electric drive can cover 135 Km, and from 2012 the car will total almost 40 markets across Europe, North America and Asia.
US and Canada will receive the Smart Fortwo electric drive starting from this autumn with pricing expected to be announced as we get closer to the on sale date.  
Mercedes press release :
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. 
Marc Langenbrinck, responsible for brand
management at smart says "In 1998 smart revolutionised urban mobility
with the unique smart fortwo vehicle concept. Now smart is once again
taking on a pioneering role and redefining zero-emission urban mobility.
We are the first manufacturer to launch a series-produced electric
vehicle. Daimler is spearheading electric mobility with the smart fortwo
electric drive. The smart fortwo electric drive is a further logical
step in the evolution of the smart brand which boasts the fleet with the
lowest fuel consumption anyway."
Environmental friendliness and state-of-the-art
functionality have been defining features of the smart fortwo ever since
it was launched more than ten years ago. Since then its innovative
concept has combined sustainable, forward-looking technologies with
individual urban mobility. With a length of just over two and a half
metres the extremely compact vehicle can also park perpendicular to the
flow of traffic. In addition, the space-saving and environmentally
friendly two-seater currently has the lowest fleet consumption and it
brings its occupants to their destination comfortably and safely. Its
design is fresh, youthful, modern and yet sophisticated and has made it
an automotive lifestyle icon which shows that mobility, responsibility
to the environment and joie de vivre are compatible with one
another. The smart fortwo has established a class of its own.
 
smart fortwo electric drive offers
innovative driving fun

 
The new smart fortwo electric drive, which
started rolling off the production line in November 2009, is a logical
continuation of a very ambitious goal: the production of a
well-engineered, attractive city car that has no local exhaust gas
emissions i.e. a zero emission vehicle. In 2007 smart kicked off
zero-emission motoring in London with its tough city traffic conditions.
Since then 100 smart fortwo electric drives of the first generation
have been in practical customer operation there. The feedback from the
UK capital has been very positive and confirms the high degree of
maturity of this vehicle concept.
In 2008 smart presented the second generation
smart fortwo electric drive, a more advanced electric drive with an
innovative lithium-ion battery. Lithium-ion technology has decisive
advantages over other types of batteries including better performance,
shorter charging times, a long life and high reliability. Marc
Langenbrinck says "The second generation smart fortwo electric drive is
based on a successful and accepted vehicle concept with character and
inherent environmentally friendly characteristics. Its innovative
electric battery drive makes it the perfect car for the city: it is
agile, economical and climate-friendly. Motoring with zero local
emissions in an urban environment has become a reality. This equates to
driving fun with no compromises."
 
Electric drive factored in from the very
first concept

 
The smart fortwo electric drive is a smart fortwo
that does not make any compromises with regard to safety, agility,
comfort and space. Electric drives have been part of the smart concept
right from the start. The later integration of the components needed for
electric drive was planned at a very early stage. For example, there is
space for the battery in the underfloor between the axles where the
tank is located in other smart models. The electric drive module does
not limit the space available in the smart fortwo electric drive in any
way; there is just as much interior and luggage compartment space as in a
smart fortwo with a combustion engine.
 
Powerful drive
 
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.
 
Generation differences

First generation smart fortwo electric
drive
Second generation smart fortwo electric
drive
In everyday use in London since 2007 Production of a small series started at the end
of 2009
Battery: NaNiCl (sodium-nickel-chloride), works
at temperatures between 280 and 320 degrees Celsius, and therefore needs
to be heated. Also has an insulated casing like a thermos flask.
Battery: lithium-ion, works at normal
temperatures. The lithium-ion battery enables a cold start at minus 25
degrees Celsius. More useable energy with the same size. The same
battery size as for the first generation smart was chosen. The range has
increased from 100 km to 135 km.
Power output: 20 kW Power output: 20 kW plus peak power output of 30
kW for approximately 2 minutes. The peak power can be called up with the
kickdown function.

 
Electronics optimise the battery status
and power consumption

 
Special electronics ensure that all is well with
the battery. This battery management system constantly monitors voltage,
electricity and temperature. If one of these parameters reaches a
specified limit – for example when driving up long hills at constant
peak power (kickdown) – the electronics reduce the power output.
However, this is barely noticeable and it rules out the risk of battery
overload.
 
The electronics also monitor the charging process
and control the capacity display. The vehicle’s power electronics
supply the vehicle’s electrical system with electric current from the
battery via a DC/DC converter. In addition, they also control the
heating and air conditioning, for example, to minimise the strain on the
battery. Clever drivers can air condition their smart fortwo electric
drive
in advance as long as their vehicle is being
charged at home – the long-standing dream of stationary cooling becomes a
reality! No other car offers this comfortable option.
Extensive equipment
 
The new second generation smart fortwo electric
drive is based on the smart fortwo coupé/cabrio with high quality
equipment. As well as air conditioning with automatic temperature
control and pre-air conditioning, the equipment includes smart radio 9,
electric power steering, electric windows, electrically adjustable and
heated door mirrors, a two-spoke leather steering wheel, leather gear
knob and 12-spoke alloy wheels. In addition to the battery indicator, an
ammeter shows the consumption and the recuperated energy. Furthermore,
all new second generation smart fortwo electric drives have green
painted alloy wheels, green mirror caps, green contrast components and a
green tridion cell created with green adhesive foil. The words
"electric drive" on the rear and in the mirror triangle also draw
attention to the vehicle’s special status.
 
Very low costs
 
There are also numerous factors in different
countries that make electric mobility attractive for customers. Tax
relief and other government subsidies play an important role. For
example, the state of Monaco offers tax relief of up to €9,000 to
electric car owners. Other countries have also set up funding programmes
for sustainable mobility. France grants a "super environment incentive"
of €5000 for every vehicle emitting less than 60 grams of CO2 per
kilometre. In Great Britain there is a bonus of up to ₤5000 and in
Belgium of €4540. In Denmark such cars are exempt from the extremely
high registration tax and there are lots of further examples in Europe.
In the USA there is a federal tax benefit of up to $7500 plus additional
benefits depending on the state or city. China and Japan have announced
subsidies of €6,500 and €11,000 respectively.
 
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.
 
smart fortwo electric drive in major
cities in Europe and the USA

 
Since the end of 2009 the second generation smart
fortwo electric drive has been delivered to selected customers. Leases
are offered for a period of four years and 60,000 kilometres. The first
vehicles were handed over to customers in December within the framework
of the "e-mobility Berlin" project. Here, in cooperation with the energy
provider RWE and with the support of the German government and the city
of Berlin, Daimler is creating ideal conditions for running
battery-driven vehicles with no local emissions. This includes setting
up a network of electricity charging stations that enable intelligent
communication between electric vehicles and the power network so that
the battery can be charged when electricity is cheapest. But as
mentioned, the smart fortwo electric drive can also be charged at any
household safety socket with a 16 amp fuse (standard in Germany and
other countries).
 
Further new generation smart fortwo electric
drive vehicles will take to the roads of Hamburg, Paris, Rome, Milan,
Pisa, London and the Midlands, Madrid, Zurich, Portugal, Denmark, the
Czech Republic, Austria, Belgium and the Netherlands during the first
half of 2010. In the autumn of 2010 the smart fortwo electric drive will
then also be launched in cities in the USA and Canada, and from 2011 in
some Asian countries. There is already a very lively demand for the
smart fortwo electric drive, and from 2012 it will be produced in large
volumes as a normal part of the smart range and sold via the smart
dealer network. This third generation will be fitted with a new
lithium-ion battery which Daimler is developing to production maturity
in cooperation with Evonik. The lithium-ion battery currently used comes
from Tesla and represents state-of-the-art technology. However, further
progress is anticipated. The main differences between the two batteries
lie in the structural design. The Tesla battery consists of lots of
cylinder-shaped cells. The Daimler battery will be made up of fewer but
larger plate units. This will first and foremost enable a greater energy
density to be achieved (with greater energy content for a higher range)
and an even longer life.
 
With the smart fortwo electric drive the brand is
underlining its pioneering role on the road to attractive individual
mobility with no local emissions in cities and urban areas. Dr. Joachim
Schmidt, Head of Sales and Marketing at Mercedes-Benz Cars says "All in
all we believe that the outlook for electric mobility is good. Whilst
our competitors are still presenting electric show cars, smart brought
production models that are fully suitable for everyday use to the roads
last year. This once again demonstrates our technical expertise and
responsibility."

Source: Mercedes