Today Daimler AG started production of the new smart fortwo electric drive at the French smart Hambach plant.

Like the models with combustion engines, the electric vehicle is now rolling off the production line in the standardized production process.

Dr. Joachim Betker, head of the smart plant in Hambach, emphasized the ground-breaking integration of the electric version in the production process: “For the first time we have realized the consistent and perfectly integrated production of models with electric drive and those with combustion engines. In production, we are now optimally utilizing the smart vehicle concept’s immanent potential for different drive systems.”

With its 55-kilowatt electric motor the smart fortwo electric drive accelerates from zero to 38 mph (60 kph) in 4.8 seconds, and can be used on highways as it has a maximum speed of 78 mph (125 kph).

The 17.6-kwh battery enables the urban two-seater to travel approximately 90 miles in city traffic.

According to smart, when considering the components come from joint ventures with German companies Bosch (EM-motive) and Evonik (Deutsche ACCUmotive) and as the vehicle is built in the Hambach (France) plant, the new smart fortwo electric drive can be considered the first true European electric car.

The smart plant in Hambach was inaugurated in 1997 and has produced the smart fortwo since 1998 – in its second generation since 2007. In 2011 more than 103,000 vehicles rolled off the production line. Approximately 1,500 people work at the site, consisting of about 800 employees at the plant itself and a further 700 at the seven local system partners. The one millionth smart fortwo was built in September 2008, coinciding with the tenth birthday of the brand. To date more than 1.3 million vehicles have left the plant.