First seen at the 2010 Paris Auto Show in concept form, the battery-powered smart escooter has been approved for production. While no details were presented about the volume-build version of this zero-emissions two-wheeler, it's slated to go on sale sometime in 2014. The announcement was made by Dr. Joachim Schmidt, executive vice president Sales and Marketing, Mercedes-Benz Cars, during the automaker's international dealer meeting in Davos, Switzerland. "With this step, we are adding a further important component to our smart mobility concept for urban mobility in the future," he added.
Matching interchangeable plastic body panels with a steel/aluminum frame, the smart escooter concept was fitted with a 5.4-horsepower electric wheel-hub motor/generator in its rear wheel -- sufficient to let it reach a top speed of 28 mph -- and anti-lock brakes to enhance stopping safety. The escooter concept's compact lithium-ion battery was good for a 62-mile per-charge range and it featured a regenerative braking system and an array of solar cells on its front fairing to help extend that distance with on-the-fly recharging. Based on the concept's specs, plug-in replenishment of the production smart escooter is expected to take three to five hours using a standard power outlet.