Production of the new Smart fortwo electric drive has begun at the Smart plant in Hambach, France. The electric vehicle is being built on the same production line as those with internal-combustion engines.
Smart dealers across Canada are currently taking orders for the first cars, which will be delivered here in Spring 2013. Germany will be the first market to receive the electric Smarts, neginning late this summer, with other markets, including Canada, being added successively.
Canadian pricing for the Smart fortwo electric drive coupe will start from $26,990, making it the lowest-priced electric car available in Canada, while the electric drive cabriolet will be priced from $29,990.
With 96 lb-ft of torque, the Smart electric drive's 55 kW electric motor accelerates it from 0-to-60 km/h in 4.8 seconds and it has a nominal top speed of 125 km/h. On a full charge, the 17.6 kWh battery provides a range of about 145 kilometres in city driving.
The third-generation Smart also features a refreshed exterior appearance with new styling cues that include a larger grille, LED lights, revised bumpers and wider door sills.
An extensive list of standard features includes air conditioning, power windows, heated seats, and electrically adjustable heated mirrors.
The car also includes such safety systems as electronic stability program (ESP) and an anti-lock braking system with electronic brake force distribution.
Smart is expanding its e-product lineup in Canada even sooner, however, with the launch of the Smart ebike this July. Priced from $3,240, it is said to beideal for city use, blending an unconventional design with high technology to create a fun and functional urban transportation solution that offers the comfort of a power-assisted two-wheeler and the easy handling of a bicycle.
The main components of the smart ebike, including the lightweight frame, battery housing, handlebars, LED lights and mudguards, have been designed and developed specifically for Smart. The rider has the flexibility to decide how much power he or she wants the 250 watt electric motor to deliver by pressing a button on the handlebar.
Depending on the power level selected and the cycling cadence, a battery charge can last for more than 100 kilometres. The portable, 423 Wh lithium-ion battery can be charged either at a normal socket or while riding. The maintenance-free rear-wheel hub motor also becomes a generator when the rider brakes which recuperates and stores braking energy.
"As a pioneer of intelligent urban mobility, it is absolutely fitting that Smart will yet again set the benchmark by positioning the highly sophisticated, third generation smart electric drive as the lowest priced electric vehicle in Canada and by launching the all new smart ebike," said Tim A. Reuss, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Canada.
"The new Smart fortwo electric drive has garnered significant attention since its official debut earlier this year, and I am extremely pleased that the pre-ordering program we introduced has generated a lot of excitement at our dealerships in anticipation of next year's official launch."
The company has planned a national summer tour to introduce the two electric vehicles to customers from coast-to-coast.