Electric smart cars take to the streets of Europe
LE PORT, MONACO - Mercedes-Benz and smart brought their zero emissions cars to Monaco in December 2009, and theirEarth's two Motoring journalists were able to take both the smart ed electric car (see photo) and the B Class F-CELL fuel cell car on test drives through Monaco's beautiful streets.
The smart electric drive car is a revolutionary vehicle and it has already started to open up new markets for the once little car company that became a worldwide success story. Shown in the photo is a cutaway of the rear of the 2010 smart ed electric which had its first customer deliveries to Berlin customers on December 17,2009. smart ed electric car customers involved in the field trial in Germany will receive free clean electricity for a period of 18 months.
The smart ed electric car has a zero-emissions range of 135 km (84.4 miles) and achieves brisk acceleration from a 30 kW 120 Nm maximum torque electric motor that is installed in a rear-wheel drive arrangement (see article photo). The battery pack in the smart ed is a lithium-ion type and has a full storage capacity of 16.5 kWh, and is manufactured by Tesla Motors of San Carlos, California in the United States. Germany's Daimler AG, which is the parent company of smart, says that the development engineers have been able to keep the exact same interior cabin space as found on the petrol variant of the car, even with the addition of a lithium-ion battery pack.Â
But there is more to this story than just electric cars, and that is the nationwide charging infrastructure that the German government has supported through the installation of RWE designed public charging stations throughout the country. In Berlin, a program called "e-mobility Berlin" has started, and it is a full turnkey project involving 100 smart electric cars and the installation of 500 RWE public pay-as-you-go charging stations throughout urban Berlin. The charging network that RWE and Daimler have jointly designed is an intelligent one with centralized control and internet based user-friendly monitoring and billing capability. RWE also says that the German public will start seeing the installation of charging stations in all urban centres by the end of 2010.
Those involved in the initial field trial of the smart ed electrics will receive special RWE home charging stations as part of the complete package that comes with their 2010 smart ed car. RWE says that the smart electric cars in the e-mobility Berlin study will receive power delivered from a clean source electric energy grid. Each smart car is integrated with RWE's intelligent charging system that works with a charging application that Daimler's engineers have integrated with the lithium battery pack on the car, and customers can view the charging status/electricity charges for their smart electric car using any computer or mobile-based internet connection.
Daimler says that the initial production of 2010 smart electric cars will amount to 1000 examples, and similar programs to the Berlin one have already started in Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, France, and Switzerland. By mid-2010 electric smart cars will additionally be delivered to select study areas in the United States and Canada.