The third generation Smart Fortwo electric drive model will be available from spring 2012 and will be sold in about 30 markets worldwide.

The 55 kW electric motor takes the car to 120km/h (75mph) and acceleration to 100 km/h (62mph) is in about 13 seconds. Range is around 140km in city traffic.

An optional 22 kW on-board quick charger enables a completely discharged li-ion battery to be fully charged in less than an hour via a public quick-charging station or a wallbox at home or work.

As with the second generation the vehicle can be pre-cooled or pre-heated as required for a programmed departure time when it is connected to the power network. A new feature is the possibility to start the pre-air conditioning via the internet or a smartphone.

Smart is talking of a “five figure” production volume but provided no specifics.