DaimlerChrysler has chosen the UK to pilot the introduction of its smart fortwo ev electric drive vehicle during November this year.

The vehicle, premiering at the British International Motor Show in London this week, will be offered to 100 Daimler customers on a lease basis.

A company spokesperson told just-auto: "We expect that this pilot project will be a success and this is the first step towards getting feedback from our customers."

The smart fortwo ev, which only uses one forward and one reverse gear, will be exempt from the central London congestion charge.

It has an electric motor with a power output of 30 kW and running costs per kilometre are considerably lower, at EUR0.02 per km compared to EUR0.06 per km for petrol-driven smart fortwo.

The electric car can accelerate from zero to 60 km/h in much the same time as its petrol-driven counterpart, according to Daimler. It has a maximum speed of 120 km/h and its 12 kilowatt hours per 100 km gives it a range of 110 km.

It takes three and a half hours to charge the battery from 30 to 80% of its capacity, with an empty battery taking around eight hours to charge.