Not all car enthusiasts come from the same mold. Sure we accept there are guys who spend all weekend polishing all 320 individual chrome spokes on their car’s wheels rather than actually burning the tires off, but they still like the smell of gas and the roar of an open exhaust right? Believe it or not, there are people that are more interested in making cars efficient rather than faster or better looking; no really. One of those people just took delivery of the first Smart Fortwo Electric Drive, and it wasn’t Al Gore.
The Smart Fortwo Electric Drive is powered by a 30 kW electric motor which is fed by a 16.5 kW-hour lithium-ion battery pack. That probably means very little to the average person. Translated, it means the car has a range of just over 60 miles on a full charge. This doesn’t sound like a lot, but remember it is replacing a car for commuting, not road trips. Smart claims the car will charge from 20 percent to 80 percent in 3.5 hours using a 220-volt outlet, to go from empty to full takes roughly 8 hours.
The first Fortwo Electric Drive was recently delivered by none other than racing legend turned car retail giant, Roger Penske and Smart USA President Jill Lajdziak. “This is a groundbreaking day for Smart in the United States,” said Lajdziak. “We are extremely excited to add the Smart Fortwo Electric Drive to the smart product lineup, solidifying our position as a key player in transportation electrification.”
The lucky recipient of the first car is Mindy Kimball, a Major in the United States Army. Kimball chose the Smart Fortwo Electric Drive after thoroughly comparing and evaluating every electric vehicle available. She has been a volunteer presenter with The Climate Project since 2007, educating the public about the science of climate change and the ways to reduce negative impacts on the environment. Kimball is also an active member of the Electric Vehicle Association (EVA) of Washington, DC, and she will display her new car in the EVA/DC booth at the 2011 Washington Auto Show. We are guessing she wasn’t a random choice.
Right now, all 250 Fortwo Electric Drives being delivered are leased from Smart and are part of an initial group that will demonstrate the feasibility of the car. Full-scale production will begin in 2012 and cars will be available to everyone through Smart Retailers nationwide then.
Source: Smart USA