Automotive Intelligence - the web for automotive professionals and car enthusiasts
August 20, 2009
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 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 from the popular brand that will roll off the production line from mid 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. smart started emission-free driving in the tough everyday conditions of city traffic in 2007 in London. Since then 100 smart fortwo electric drives of the first generation have been in practical customer operation. The feedback from the UKcapital 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 higher performance, shorter charging times, a long life and high reliability. Marc Langenbrinck, responsible for brand management at smart, 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 a clear conscience."
Electric drive taken into account in the very first concept
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.
A 30 kW magneto-electric motor is installed at the rear of the new smart fortwo electric drive and reacts immediately and without delay. Powerful torque of 120 Newtonmetres 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. Its maximum speed has been deliberately limited to 100 km/h, a suitable speed for the city. Thanks 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 – a major advantage in dense city traffic. To reverse, the engine's direction of rotation changes.
The second generation smart fortwo electric drive is powered by a lithium-ion battery from Tesla Motors Inc. with capacity of 14 kWh. It is simple to charge at any fused 220 Volt socket.
A fully charged battery is sufficient for up to 115 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. Plugging the car in overnight will fully recharge the battery.
Electronics optimise the battery charge status and power consumption
smart fortwo electric drive in major cities in Europe and the USA
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 kilometres. The first vehicles are destined for 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 Daimleris creating the 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.
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.
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 underlines the pioneering role of the car brand on the way to attractive individual mobility with zero local emissions in cities and urban population centres.
(August 20, 09)