France-Built smart electric drive Headed For China

Mercedes-Benz’s smart fortwo electric drive has been given the green light for distribution and commercialization in China.

The Stuttgart-based company will soon be bringing fully electric motoring to China, its third-largest market, where the smart fortwo electric drive will be available before the year is out.

This means that smart will be the first European importer to sell a fully electric vehicle on the Chinese market.

The Chinese government has now given the green light for approval of the zero-local-emission runabout. smart said that in Germany, the electric smart established itself as the market leader among battery-electric vehicles within a very short space of time.

“smart has conquered the hearts of our Chinese customers by storm – they appreciate and love smart because it is the perfect city car,” said Dr Annette Winkler, Head of smart. “By bringing the smart electric drive to the Chinese market we will be the first European importer to introduce a fully electric vehicle in China. Again we are proving our role as the global pacemaker of urban mobility. Our numerous forward-thinking clients in China will be enthusiastic about the smart electric drive`s fabulous driving dynamics.”

After Germany and Italy, China is one of the smart’s main sales markets, with Chinese sales increasing by 43.8 percent in 2012.

The fortwo electric drive’s 55 kilowatt electric motor allows the car to reach 60 kilometer per hour (37.3 mph) in less than five seconds. The 17.6 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery alloows a range of 145 kilometers (90 miles).

The electric smart is produced at the Hambach plant in France, with an energy accumulator developed by Deutsche ACCUmotive (a joint venture with Evonik) and an electric motor from EM-motive (a joint venture with Bosch).