The term “smart car” commonly refers to the diminutive two-seat automobile manufactured by Daimler AG. The formal name of the automobile is the Smart Fortwo.
In keeping with current trends, Daimler is beginning production of an electric-battery version of their original gas design. The new electric Smart car has the same proportions as the gas-run template, with the battery on the underside of the vehicle in order not to lose out on storage area.
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Called the Smart Fortwo ED, the vehicle does not emit any carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, soot, particulate matter or pollutants. It is estimated that by driving the electric smart car, maintenance and general automotive costs will be reduced by 10-15 percent per year.
The new electric car is 95-percent recyclable, and has a 16.5 kilowatt-hour lithium ion battery produced by Tesla Motors. It takes three-and-a-half hours to go from a 20 percent to an 80 percent state of charge, but when fully charged, the car has an 83-mile cruising range. The battery can be charged using either a common household 110V outlet or a 220V outlet.
In October 2010, Smart USA will release 250 electric vehicles to select US cities, and 1,250 cars throughout Europe and Canada, as phase two of a three-phase program. The first phase was in 2007, when 100 electric drive vehicles began placement in London. The date for general commercial production, the third and final phase of the introduction of the electric Smart car, is aimed for early 2012.
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