smart fortwo electric drive Is Main Feature at “smart urban stage” Exhibition

With the “smart urban stage” we are bringing leading thinkers from relevant areas together to discuss visions of future urban life

by  Jim Davis  | 

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The smart fortwo is part of the roadscape of modern cities and plays a role in shaping their change. New technologies and environmental framework conditions influence the future of urban areas and the way we live in cities. The car manufacturer smart is taking up this subject and inviting the exchange of ideas and dialogue on “The future of the city” in six European cities. A temporary exhibition platform is being set up – “smart urban stage” – where future-oriented projects will be exhibited. In the next twelve months the “smart urban stage” will visit the cities of Berlin, Rome, Zurich, Paris, Madrid and London.

“What will the future be like in urban areas and how will we move around? These questions have always driven the smart brand. With the “smart urban stage” we are bringing leading thinkers from relevant areas together to discuss visions of urban life with them”, says Marc Langenbrinck, Managing Director of the smart brand and Head of Sales & Marketing smart.

The starting signal will be given for the “smart urban stage” in Berlin. From 8th May to 13th June 2010 ten national projects from the fields of society, design, architecture, media, science and mobility will be presented in specially constructed temporary premises with an innovative architecture concept at Oranienburger Straße 59-63. The works shown are concerned with future-oriented and sustainable ideas relating to the future of urban life. They aim to provide answers to the question of how people living in urban areas can bring more community and sustainability into their everyday lives. The exhibits will be curated by experts and leading thinkers from these fields.

The importance of the projects is reflected in the “smart future minds award”. The car brand will award the future prize with €10,000 to the most innovative project at each of the six “smart urban stage” stations. The national winners from the six cities will also take part in the international final. In 2011 the overall winner will receive a smart fortwo electric drive.

In addition to the exhibition, smart is the first car manufacturer to offer a personal introduction to the subject of electric mobility. Those interested can experience mobility of the future in theory and practice and test drive the smart fortwo electric drive for themselves.

This makes the smart fortwo electric drive one of the main players on the “smart urban stage”. With its zero-emission drive it is already redefining urban mobility. smart has been producing the electric variant of the two-seater car since the end of 2009 and the vehicles are being delivered to the first customers in a total of eight countries in Europe and North America. From 2012 the smart fortwo electric drive will be available from dealers as alternative alongside the petrol and diesel models.

experiencing electric mobility of the future

As part of the international “smart urban stage” exhibition series and in tune with the brand itself, smart is offering an unconventional and personal introduction to the mobility of the future. With the smart electric drive experience, interested individuals can experience the theory and practise of electric mobility for the first time. Personal test drives in a smart fortwo electric drive will be available from 8th May until 13th June 2010 from 12 noon until 8 p.m. each day at Oranienburger Straße 59-63 in Berlin. Through to 13th June 2010 smart offers people an opportunity to experience urban mobility of the future as part of a unique customer-oriented campaign. The backdrop is the market launch of the smart fortwo electric drive, available for sale to everyone beginning in 2012.

Interested individuals are offered a personal presentation of information about the history of electric drives and the special characteristics of the electric motor. Following this, anyone in possession of a driving licence will have an opportunity to try out driving on electric current for themselves in the smart fortwo electric drive. Register online beginning 29th April 2010 at www.smart-urban-stage.com or directly on the premises.

The “smart urban stage” is being held through to mid-2011 in six European cities – Berlin, Rome, Zurich, Paris, Madrid and London.

smart fortwo electric drive: The new generation smart with electric drive

Sustainable mobility and easy everyday use are declared aims of the new smart fortwo electric drive which has been rolling off the production line at smart’s factory in Hambach, France, since mid-November 2009. Unlike its predecessor, the electrically driven smart fortwo of the second generation is fitted with an innovative and highly efficient lithium-ion battery. It is housed in a space-saving position between the axles, which means that space is not compromised in any way in the intelligent two-seater vehicle. A 30 kW electric engine is stored in the rear. This provides for good acceleration and high agility with 120 Newton metres of torque that are immediately available. The smart fortwo electric drive can be charged at any normal household socket. A full battery charge is sufficient for a range of around 135 kilometres – more than enough for city traffic. smart has made electric drive a practical alternative for mobility with zero local emissions in urban areas. The first models of the new smart fortwo electric drive were handed over to customers in Berlin on 17 December 2009. Further cities in Europe and the USA will follow, allowing the environmentally friendly trendsetter to demonstrate its suitability for everyday use. From 2012 the smart fortwo electric drive will be available to anyone interested.

Marc Langenbrinck, Managing Director smart brand and Head of Sales & Marketing smart, says “In 1998 smart revolutionised urban mobility with the unique smart fortwo vehicle concept.” Now smart is once again taking on a pioneering role and redefining zero-emission urban mobility. “We are the first manufacturer to launch a series-produced electric vehicle. Daimler is spearheading electric mobility with the smart fortwo electric drive. The smart fortwo electric drive is a further logical step in the evolution of the smart brand which boasts the fleet with the lowest fuel consumption anyway.”

Environmental friendliness and state-of-the-art functionality have been defining features of the smart fortwo ever since it was launched more than ten years ago. Since then its innovative concept has combined sustainable, forward-looking technologies with individual urban mobility. With a length of just over two and a half metres the extremely compact vehicle can also park perpendicular to the flow of traffic. In addition, the space-saving and environmentally friendly two-seater currently has the lowest fleet consumption and brings its occupants to their destination comfortably and safely. Its design is fresh, youthful and modern yet sophisticated and has made it an automotive lifestyle icon that shows that mobility, responsibility to the environment and joie de vivre are compatible with one another. The smart fortwo has established a class of its own.

smart fortwo electric drive offers innovative driving fun

The new smart fortwo electric drive, which started rolling off the production line in mid November 2009, is a logical continuation of a very ambitious goal: the production of a well-engineered, attractive city car that has no local exhaust gas emissions i.e.: a zero emission vehicle. In 2007 smart kicked off zero-emission motoring in London with its tough city traffic conditions. Since then 100 smart fortwo electric drives of the first generation have been in practical customer operation there. The feedback from the UK capital has been very positive and confirms the high degree of maturity of this vehicle concept.

In 2008 smart presented the second generation smart fortwo electric drive, a more advanced electric drive with an innovative lithium-ion battery. Lithium-ion technology has decisive advantages over other types of batteries including better performance, shorter charging times, a long life and high reliability. Marc Langenbrinck says “The second generation smart fortwo electric drive is based on a successful and accepted vehicle concept with cult character and inherent environmentally friendly characteristics. Its innovative electric battery drive makes it the perfect car for the city: it is agile, economical and climate-friendly. Motoring with zero local emissions in an urban environment has become a reality. This equates to individually tailored driving fun with no compromises.”

Electric drive factored in from the very first concept

The smart fortwo electric drive is a smart fortwo that does not make any compromises with regard to safety, agility, comfort and space. Electric drives have been part of the smart concept right from the start. The later integration of the components needed for electric drive was planned at a very early stage. For example, there is space for the battery in the underfloor between the axles where the tank is located in other smart models. The electric drive module does not limit the space available in the smart fortwo electric drive in any way; there is just as much interior and luggage compartment space as in a smart fortwo with a combustion engine.

Powerful drive

A 30 kW magneto-electric motor is installed at the rear of the new smart fortwo electric drive and responds directly without delay. Powerful torque of 120 Newton metres is immediately available. This results in a considerable amount of power when pulling away. The smart fortwo electric drive accelerates from 0 – 60 km/h in 6.5 seconds – just as quickly as a petrol model which it initially leaves behind it. After a year of driving the first generation smart fortwo electric drive in everyday conditions on British roads one of the participants in the large-scale London trial said “You can beat anything at the lights”. The maximum speed of the smart fortwo electric drive has been deliberately limited to 100 km/h, a suitable maximum speed for the city.

Thanks to the power characteristic of the electric motor, just one single fixed gear ratio is required. There is no need for any gear changing – a major advantage in dense city traffic. To reverse, the engine’s direction of rotation changes. “Fantastic and easy to drive. You just get in, turn on and go” was how experienced users from London summed up the smart fortwo electric drive.

The smart fortwo electric drive is powered by a lithium-ion battery developed by Tesla Motors Inc. with a capacity of 16.5 kWh. It is simple to charge at any fused 220 Volt socket. A fully charged battery is sufficient for up to 135 kilometres of driving fun (NEDC). This range is more than enough for city traffic as studies have shown that cars drive an average of 30 – 40 kilometres per day in towns and cities. For this, the vehicle only needs to be charged for three hours. At an average speed of 25 – 30 km/h that is normal in city traffic the smart fortwo electric drive can drive for around four to five hours continuously before it needs to be recharged. Plugging the car in overnight will fully recharge the battery.

Electronics optimise the battery charge status and power consumption

Special electronics ensure that all is well with the battery. This battery management system constantly monitors voltage, electricity and temperature. If one of these parameters reaches a specified limit – for example when driving uphill at constant peak power (kickdown) – the electronics reduce the power output. However, this is barely noticeable and it rules out the risk of battery overload.

The electronics also monitor the charging process and control the capacitydisplay. The vehicle’s power electronics supply the vehicle’s electrical system with electric current from the battery via a DC/DC converter. In addition, they also control the heating and air conditioning, for example, to minimise the strain on the battery. Clever drivers can air condition their smart fortwo electric drive in advance as long as their vehicle is being charged at home – the long-standing dream of stationary cooling becomes a reality! No other car offers this comfortable option.

Extensive equipment

The smart fortwo electric drive is based on the smart fortwo coupé/cabrio with high-quality equipment. Along with air conditioning with automatic temperature control and pre-air conditioning, the equipment includes smart radio 9, electric power steering, electric windows, electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors, a two-spoke leather steering wheel, leather gear knob and 12-spoke alloy wheels. In addition to the battery indicator, an ammeter shows the consumption and the recuperated energy. In addition, all new second generation smart fortwo electric drives have green painted wheels, green mirror caps, green contrast components and a green tridion cell created with green adhesive foil . The words “electric drive” on the rear and in the mirror triangle also draw attention to the vehicle’s special status.

smart fortwo electric drive in major cities in Europe and the USA

Since the end of 2009 the smart fortwo electric drive has been delivered to selected leasing customers. Leases are offered for a period of four years and 60,000 kilometres. The first vehicles were handed over to customers in December within the framework of the “e-mobility Berlin” project. Here, in cooperation with the energy provider RWE and with the support of the German government and the city of Berlin, Daimler is creating ideal conditions for running battery-driven vehicles with no local emissions. This includes setting up a network of electricity charging stations that enable intelligent communication between electric vehicles and the power network so that the battery can be charged when electricity is cheapest. But as mentioned, the smart fortwo electric drive can also be charged at any household safety socket with a 16 amp fuse (standard in Germany and other countries).

Further vehicles of the new generation smart fortwo electric drive will take to the roads of Hamburg, Paris, Rome, Milan, Pisa, Madrid and Zurich and they will also be deployed in further projects in Europe. Start: in the first half of 2010. Some of the models will also be sent to US cities in the second half of 2010.

There is already a very lively demand for the smart fortwo electric drive, and from 2012 it will be produced in large volumes as a normal part of the smart range and sold via the smart dealer network. This third generation will be fitted with a new lithium-ion battery, which Daimler is developing to production maturity in cooperation with Evonik. The lithium-ion battery currently used comes from Tesla and represents state-of-the-art technology. However, further progress is anticipated. The main differences between the two batteries lie in the structural design. The Tesla battery consists of lots of cylinder-shaped cells. The Daimler battery will be made up of fewer but larger plate units. This will first and foremost enable a greater energy density to be achieved (and therefore a higher range) and an even longer life.

With the smart fortwo electric drive the cult brand is underlining its pioneering role on the road to attractive individual mobility with no local emissions in cities and urban areas. Dr. Joachim Schmidt, Head of Sales and Marketing Mercedes-Benz Cars, says: “All in all we believe that the outlook for electric mobility is good. Whilst our competitors are still presenting electric show cars, smart brought production models that are fully suitable for everyday use to the roads last year. This once again demonstrates our technical expertise and responsibility.”

READ MORE: Autos, smart, fortwo

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