New smart Electric Drive Could Be U.S. Bound
The smart ED shown in Paris is slated to enter a limited series production in Europe at the end of 2009. This iteration is powered by a Zytek-designed 40-horsepower electric motor fed by a new-design lithium-ion battery with a projected 10-year maximum service life. Other vital stats include a 70-mile range, a top speed of about 70 mph and an electric "refilling" time of about four hours for an 80-percent charge and eight hours for a complete top-up when plugged into a standard Euro-spec 230V outlet.
Last month, Daimler began testing 100 of these new smart EDs in Berlin with the assistance of German electric utility provider RWE AG. RWE is installing 500 charging stations throughout the city, and Daimler has installed onboard computers on the test cars that can "talk" to these chargers to help ensure that the battery is automatically charged when the network is in off-peak mode and electricity is at its lowest per-unit price.