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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Smart Fortwo electric drive enters production [VIDEO]

Daimler AG started production of the new smart fortwo electric drive at the smart Hambach plant. Like the models with combustion engines, the electric vehicle is now rolling off the production line in the standardised production process. Furthermore, Daimler invests more than €200 million to upgrade the site and secure its future.

"The new smart electric drive and the expansion of the Hambach plant are two important milestones for the future of smart", said Dr. Annette Winkler, Head of smart. "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."

Dr. Joachim Betker, Head of the smart plant in Hambach, emphasised the ground-breaking integration of the electric version in the production process: "For the first time we have realised the consistent and perfectly integrated production of models with electric drive and those with combustion engines. In production, we are now optimally utilising the smart vehicle concept's immanent potential for different drive systems."

12 June 2012 – this date marks the start of sales* for the first real alternative to the usual refuelling stops. With the launch of the new smart fortwo electric drive, in future smart customers can enjoy even more fun at the wheel of an attractively priced vehicle that has the familiar compact dimensions - as a coupé or a cabriolet. The most important feature distinguishing it from its siblings with conventional engines is the fact that it has no exhaust, which means that it does not produce any emissions on the road.

With its 55kW electric motor the smart fortwo electric drive accelerates from 0 - 60 km/h in 4.8 seconds, and with a maximum speed of 125 km/h driving pleasure is also guaranteed on urban motorways. The 17.6 kWh battery enables the urban two-seater to travel approximately 145 kilometres in city traffic without producing any local emissions. As those components each come from joint ventures with the German companies Bosch (EM-motive) and Evonik (Deutsche ACCUmotive) and as the vehicle is built in the plant in Hambach (France), the new smart fortwo electric drive is the first true European electric car.

The new sale&care model makes opting into electric mobility particularly attractive: it offers customers an opportunity to buy, finance or lease the vehicle at an attractive price and to rent the battery for a monthly fee. Purchase, financing or leasing of the vehicle including the battery is also possible.

The company is making significant investments in the plant to secure its future. The total investments for the expansion and modification of the plant plus preparatory measures for the successor series to the current smart exceed €200 million. The largest individual project with a total investment of more than €50 million is the new paint shop where an environmentally-friendly liquid painting process that meets the current Daimler Group standard for passenger car plants will replace the present powder painting process. The new paint shop will thus greatly expand the variety of paint colours that can be realised, which means that in future smart customers will also be able to choose the colour of the tridion safety cell of their smart from all available paint finishes.

Prices in Germany (including 19% VAT):

smart fortwo electric drive
18.910,00 €
22.000,00 €
65,00 €/month

Vehicle including battery
smart fortwo electric drive
23.680,00 €
26.770,00 €

Delivery in Germany starts in late summer, all other markets - a total of more than 30 - will follow successively.

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