Smart goes electric in Paris

16c711_013Smart will show off electric versions of all of its cars at the forthcoming Paris Motor Show, including, for the first time, the four-door Smart forfour. The company believes this makes it the only car manufacturer worldwide to offer its model range with both combustion engines and pure battery-electric drive. The Smart electric drive will celebrate its world premiere at the Paris Motor Show (1 to 16 October 2016), while the market launch will start in the USA in December 2016 and in Europe in early 2017. The Smart electric drive will go on sale early 2017, and first cars will arrive in the UK from September 2017.

“The Smart is the perfect city car, and with electric drive it becomes a little bit more perfect,” said Annette Winkler, Head of Smart. “This is why we will soon be offering our entire range – Smart fortwo, Smart cabrio and even our Smart forfour – as all-electric versions. Together with lots of Smart fans and enthusiastic drivers of the three predecessor generations, we are looking forward to the unique driving fun offered by the new Smart electric drive. And at very attractive prices, especially in countries where there is a buyer’s premium.”

When fully charged the battery has sufficient power to cover approximately 160 kilometres (100 miles) in accordance with the NEDC. With the high-performance on-board charger the Smart electric drive can be charged up to twice as quickly as before (depending on the country version and the electricity supply network). With the new fast charger (optional extra available from 2017) the vehicle can be fully charged in less than 45 minutes (depending on the country version and the electricity supply network).

The Smart fortwo electric drive models are series produced at Smart’s Hambach plant (France). The Smart forfour electric drive is produced at the Novo Mesto site (Slovenia). The Smart is equipped with a battery from the Daimler subsidiary Deutsche ACCUMOTIVE. The company, based in Kamenz, Saxony, has been building the electric heart of the smart electric drive since 2012.

16c709_069Thanks to the power characteristics of the electric motor, the Smart needs just one single fixed gear ratio. There is no need for any gear changing. To reverse, the engine’s direction of rotation changes. The drivetrain is produced in Renault’s plant in Clèon, Northern France.

As well as the basic transmission mode the driver can select ECO mode. This is designed for a particularly efficient driving style. In addition, the maximum speed is limited, the accelerator pedal curve adjusted and the maximum recuperation level is pre-selected. In overrun mode or when braking the vehicle’s kinetic energy is converted into electrical energy – this is called recuperation. The radar-based recuperation, which is active in the basic transmission mode, is anticipatory. The traffic situation is monitored with a radar sensor and a recuperation level that suits the current situation is selected.

To save energy and extend the range, the Smart electric drive also features pre-entry climate control. For example, this enables the desired temperature to be reached in the interior while the vehicle is still charging at a socket.

With the “smart control” app lots of electric drive information can be accessed via smartphone, tablet or PC and functions such as pre-entry climate control or intelligent charging can be conveniently controlled remotely.

With the start of the first electrically driven test fleet in 2007 in London, Smart also took on a pioneering role in the field of electric mobility when 100 Smart fortwo electric drives took to the roads of the British capital.

In 2009 smart launched the second generation of the Smart fortwo electric drive, with the model being introduced in 18 markets. The objective was to gather as much experience as possible about how customers use and charge electric vehicles. Instead of the planned 1000 vehicles more than 2000 Smart fortwo electric drives were produced in Hambach.

From June 2012 the third generation of the Smart fortwo electric drive was introduced. In Germany, the electric Smart established itself as the market leader among battery-electric vehicles within a very short space of time with a market share of around 40 percent and was able to maintain this position for three years in a row.

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