Everything about the smart fortwo electric drive is small – the size, the price and even the name, in which no capital letters are allowed. However, there’s nothing small about the plant where it’s produced, or the Daimler Group’s pride in the advanced, green facility, located in the industrial region of Lorraine. The factory opened in 1997, and has produced 1.4 million vehicles to date. The company recently invested over 200 million Euros to expand and modify the facility to produce the electric version of the fortwo.
In a recent press release, Dr Annette Winkler, head of smart, said, “Our plant ‘smartville’ already set milestones in innovative, environmentally friendly production technology at its foundation. With every electric smart coming from Hambach we offer affordable electric mobility for everyone. More than 1,000 emission-free smarts have already left the plant. The production is now being continuously ramped up to meet the high customer demand worldwide.”
Dr Joachim Betker, Head of the Hambach plant, said, “The smart Hambach plant has the ideal prerequisites for perfectly integrated production of models with electric drive and combustion engines. The smart vehicle concept was designed for different drive types right from the start – this is why the whole site was planned to allow configurations such as an electric drive to be additionally realized with relatively low expenditure.”
The smart fortwo electric drive is available as a coupé or a cabrio (convertible), and features a 55 kW electric motor and a 17.6 kWh lithium-ion battery. These components come from joint ventures with German companies Bosch and Evonik. According to smart, range is approximately 145 km in city traffic, and top speed is 125 km/hour.
The new EV is currently being rolled out in 30 European markets. Prices in Germany (including 19% value-added tax) are €23,680 for the coupé and €26,770 for the cabrio. Or, if you prefer, you can pay €18,910/€22,000 for the car, and “rent” the battery for €65 per month.