Daimler delays launch of 2012 Smart ForTwo EV

The affordable two-seater will go on sale in 30 markets around the world in September 2012, instead of June as the company had planned.

 

German automaker Daimler told Automotive News Europe on Tuesday that the launch of its third-generation Smart ForTwo EV will be delayed by about three months. The affordable two-seater will go on sale in 30 markets around the world in September 2012, instead of June as the company had planned. According to Daimler, the delay is due to quality control issues at battery cell supplier Li-Tec. The ForTwo’s 17.6 kWh battery pack is made in a joint venture between Daimler and German firm Evonic.

"There are no technical or quality problems with the batteries," said a company spokeswoman. "But we don't want to lower our sights in safeguarding quality. That's why we're accepting a delay."

A test fleet of Smart EVs hit the streets of London in 2007. The third-generation model was unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show. It claims a range of around 87 miles and a top speed of 75 mph. Prices should start around $22,000.

 

Image: Daimler