August 20, 2009

Smart Car - the Electric Version


Perfect for running to the store to get a gallon of milk, stop by the bank, pick up the dry cleaning...

Daimler announced today that it will begin mass-producing the urban runabout by mid-November and begin leasing it to "selected" customers in Europe and the U.S. by the end of the year. The rest of us will be able to buy it in 2012. The car we'll see this fall is actually the second generation fortwo EV, and it sports a lithium-ion battery pack — designed by Tesla Motors — with a range of 115 kilometers (about 71 miles) and an "overnight" recharge time.

The 14 kilowatt-hour battery sits between the rear wheels in the space where the conventional fortwo has a gas tank. It powers a 30 kilowatt (40.2 horsepower) electric motor. That isn't much, but the tiny motor produces enough torque — 92.1 pound-feet — to propel the car from 0 to 60 in a respectable 6.5 seconds. For the sake of comparison, the 2009 Honda Civic needs 9.8 seconds.
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