UK: Smart to test-market voltsmobile

By just-auto.com editorial team | 13 July 2006

DaimlerChrysler is to test market an all-electric version of the tiny two-seat Smart Fortwo city car in the UK.

The smart ev (short for electric vehicle, of course) will make its debut at the British motor show on 18 July and be leased to corporate customers from November.

Range is just 72 miles but Smart claims the ev sets a new benchmark in the electric vehicle sector with 30kW power output, top speed of 70 mph (110km/h) and 0-30 mph (50km/h) acceleration in 6.5 seconds. The car is exempt from the UK's vehicle road tax and the London congestion charge.

The drivetrain is produced in the UK by technology partner Zytek Group who assemble the cars in Fradley, near Litchfield.

UK Mercedes Car Group chief Dermot Kelly said: "We expect to deliver up to 200 units in this market trial phase and will work with corporate partners, to find suitable applications for the ev, and with green energy suppliers to deliver zero emissions from well to wheel."

More than 40,000 Fortwos have been sold in the UK since the car was launched here, originally with left-hand drive, in 2000.