Third-Generation Battery Fortwo Cars in Hambach, France
Daimler-Mercedes has commenced production of the third-generation battery electric version of the Smart Fortwo two-seater, using new batteries and a new drivetrain.
The two-seat Mercedes EVs are built in Hambach, France, where Daimler says it has invested some 200 million euros – $254 million U.S. at current rates– in facility improvements.
The third-generation cars now in production at Hambach have lithium ion batteries from Deutsche Accumotive and 55-kilowatt motors from EM-Motive – joint venture entities between Daimler and Evonik and Bosch, respectively.
The 17.6-kilowatt-hour Deutsche Accumotive battery pack affords a single-charge range of 145 kilometers, or about 90 miles, the manufacturer says.
You Can Rent the Battery
The hardtop battery Fortwo is priced at 18,910 euros ($24,000) in Germany, plus 65 euros ($83) per month for battery rent. Daimler calls the package “Sale&Care.” The program “offers customers an opportunity to buy, finance or lease the vehicle at an attractive price and to rent the battery,” Daimler says.
“With the new Smart electric drive we are further expanding our leading position in urban mobility and making fully electric driving accessible to everyone,” Smart chief Annette Winkler said in a release.
Sales are to commence in Europe this summer. The battery electric Smart Fortwo is expected to be available in the U.S. in late 2012 or early 2013.
In related news, Daimler reports that its Car2Go car-share subsidiary is expanding again, deploying fleets of gasoline-powered Smart Fortwo cars this summer in Toronto (June 30), Calgary (July 23, pictured) and Miami (July 30).
Second-generation battery electric Smart Fortwo cars constitute the entirety of the 300-unit Car2Go fleets in San Diego and Amsterdam.
There are 25 electric Fortwo cars with the Car2Go fleet in Ulm, Germany, and a handful of 100% electric test vehicles with the conventional gasoline Car2Go fleets in Austin and Vancouver.
Ecotality is the Car2Go’s San Diego charging partner.
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Source: Daimler-Mercedes Smart and Car2Go press releases