After successful testing and enthusiastic responses from customers in England, Smart will begin limited series production of its Smart Electric Drive (ED) and will commence testing in other nations—notably the U.S.
Daimler has been testing the Smart ED in England since 2006, and will begin production of a second-generation vehicle available for sale on the island in early 2010.
“It is absolutely fantastic to see manufacturers like Smart leading the way to make the electric vehicle an easy choice for Londoners,” said Boris Johnson, the mayor of London. “The move to electric vehicles, which emit zero pollution on London’s streets, will have a massive impact on cutting carbon emissions to curb climate change whilst improving air quality and noise levels for our citizens.”
The second-generation of Smart ED features one distinct and predictable change from the vehicles tested in the UK: a lithium-ion battery sourced from Tesla Motors. Using a lithium-ion battery in the second-generation Smart ED gives the car greater range, and, once a charge is needed, a shorter recharge time.
Daimler plans on testing the second-generation Smart ED in several cities in the U.S, as well as Rome, Milan, and Paris. We’d not be surprised if both New York City and Los Angeles are chosen, especially since they’re also serving as testing grounds for BMW’s Mini E…