Smart is currently ramping up production of the smart electric drive in the French town of Hambach and took the opportunity to celebrate the series production of an electric vehicle in Europe for the first time.
In her speech during the event, Dr Annette Winkler, head of smart, emphasized the importance of the Hambach plant.
“Our plant “smartville“ already set milestones in innovative, environmentally friendly production technology at its foundation,” she said. “We at smart are all very proud that our great team in Hambach now also is producing the first electric series car in Europe. With every electric smart coming from Hambach we offer affordable electric mobility for everyone. More than 1.000 emission-free smarts have already left the plant. The production is now being continuously ramped up to meet the high customer demand worldwide.”
With forward motion coming from its 55-kw electric motor, the smart fortwo electric drive can reach a maximum speed of 125 kph. The 17.6-kwh lithium-ion battery enables the urban two-seater to travel approximately 145 kilometers in city traffic without producing any emissions. Many of the electric drive components come from joint ventures with the German companies Bosch (EM-motive) and Evonik (Deutsche ACCUmotive).
Dr. Joachim Betker, Head of the smart plant in Hambach, explained: “The smart Hambach plant has the ideal prerequisites for perfectly integrated production of models with electric drive and combustion engines. The smart vehicle concept was designed for different drive types right from the start – this is why the whole site was planned to allow configurations such as an electric drive to be additionally realized with relatively low expenditure. The whole team at the Hambach site can be proud that they have pioneered the first series production of an electric vehicle in Europe.”
In Europe, sales of the smart fortwo electric drive follow a new sales: the sale&care model chosen offers customers an opportunity to buy, finance or lease the vehicle; and to rent the battery for a monthly fee.
It is also possible to buy, finance or lease the vehicle including the battery.
For example, the Coupé version is sold for €18,910.00, with a monthly battery rental fee of €65.00; or the same vehicle can be had for €23,680.00, including the battery.
Smart says the first vehicles have already been delivered to customers in Germany, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Italy and Portugal. A total of 30 markets will receive the electric vehicle.
The smart plant in Hambach was inaugurated in 1997 and has produced the smart fortwo since 1998. The second generation was launched in 2007.
In 2011 more than 103,000 vehicles rolled off the production line. Some 1475 employees work at the site, around 750 in the plant itself and a further 725 at the seven system partners who are also based there. The one millionth smart fortwo was built in September 2008, coinciding with the tenth birthday of the brand.
To date more than 1.4 million smart vehicles have left the plant.