Electric Smart Car Finally Coming to the United States


An electric version of the Smart ForTwo is coming to America. This fully electric powered Smart car has a 30 kW drive motor and 16.5 kWh lithium-ion battery. Using a standard 220-volt outlet, it takes only three and a half hours to charge the battery from 20 to 80 percent of its capacity and less than eight hours to fully charge it. The battery can also be charged using a common household 110-volt outlet. The vehicles can reach highway speeds and offer a range of 82 miles on a single charge.

Smart will launch a fleet of only 250 of the electric cars in the U.S. in October 2010. By 2012, Smart expects to have the car available for sale.

If you are interested in this car, you can learn more or even sign up for the reservation list on the Smart Electric Drive page.

Ironically, when the company conceived the Smart car concept more than 20 years ago, Daimler developers anticipated the need for an alternative powertrain and factored the integration of electric drive components.

Here's a chart from Smart showing the differences between the first and second generations of its electric drive:

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. 


6/18/2010 1:56:45 AM

82 miles per charge is fine for around town driving, but why can't these manufacturers incorporate the battery design used in the Tesla, and upgrade the mileage considerably? Am I to assume that Tesla will never allow their technology to be used in any vehicle that doesn't cost over $100,000?

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