Smart Fortwo Electric Drive Production

Like Ford in the US, Daimler makes vehicles with different kinds of powertrains in one plant. Over in Hambach, France, around 750 Daimler elves workers put out all the Smart Fortwos in the world, over 1.4 million and counting. Daimler now also makes the Fortwo Electric Drive there, the first series production EV made in Europe. Daimler invested over 200 million euros to expand the plant for the EV model and future products. So far, over 1,000 electric Smarts have been built and Smart head Annette Winkler said that "production is now being continuously ramped up to meet the high customer demand worldwide."

It's not that surprising that people want this EV, since Daimler is making sure the Smart Fortwo Electric Drive will be crazy affordable (for an electric vehicle) when it goes on sale. The car will start at just $25,000 before any federal tax credits when it comes to the US in the spring, and it is available at a low cost with a battery lease in Europe (details below). We like this tiny EV – as you can read here, it's a big improvement over the previous generation – and if you can live with the size limitations, it's a good way to get your EV toes wet.
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smart plant Hambach: insight into the first series production of an electric vehicle in Europe
Hambach, France, Dec 11, 2012
  • Models with electric drive und combustion engines series produced on one production line for the first time
  • Investment of more than 200 million Euro in the future of the plant
  • Dr Annette Winkler: "Our plant "smartville" already set milestones in innovative, environmentally friendly production technology at its foundation. We at smart are all very proud that our great team in Hambach now also is producing the first electric series car in Europe."
Hambach, France - With the production of the smart electric drive in the French town of Hambach, smart is presenting the series production of an electric vehicle in Europe for the first time.

In her speech, Dr Annette Winkler, Head of smart, emphasised the importance of the Hambach plant: "Our plant "smartville" already set milestones in innovative, environmentally friendly production technology at its foundation. We at smart are all very proud that our great team in Hambach now also is producing the first electric series car in Europe." In view of the further ramp-up of the new smart fortwo electric drive Annette Winkler said: "With every electric smart coming from Hambach we offer affordable electric mobility for everyone. More than 1.000 emission-free smarts have already left the plant. The production is now being continuously ramped up to meet the high customer demand worldwide."

Dr Joachim Betker, Head of the smart plant in Hambach, explained: "The smart Hambach plant has the ideal prerequisites for perfectly integrated production of models with electric drive and combustion engines. The smart vehicle concept was designed for different drive types right from the start – this is why the whole site was planned to allow configurations such as an electric drive to be additionally realised with relatively low expenditure. The whole team at the Hambach site can be proud that they have pioneered the first series production of an electric vehicle in Europe."

About the new smart fortwo electric drive

Available as a coupé or a cabrio with extensive standard equipment based on the passion equipment line – in future, smart customers can enjoy even more fun at the wheel of an attractively priced vehicle that has the familiar compact dimensions. The most important feature distinguishing it from its siblings with conventional engines is the fact that it does not produce any emissions at all whilst driving.

With its 55 kW electric motor the smart fortwo electric drive accelerates from 0 - 60 km/h in 4.8 seconds, and with a maximum speed of 125 km/h driving pleasure is also guaranteed on urban motorways. The 17.6 kWh lithium-ion battery enables the urban two-seater to travel approximately 145 kilometres in city traffic without producing any local emissions. As these components come from joint ventures with the German companies Bosch (EM-motive) and Evonik (Deutsche ACCUmotive) and the vehicle is built in the Hambach plant in France, the new smart fortwo electric drive is the first truly European electric car.

A new sales model makes opting into electric mobility particularly attractive: the sale&care model offers customers an opportunity to buy, finance or lease the vehicle at an attractive price and to rent the battery for a monthly fee. It is also possible to buy, finance or lease the vehicle including the battery.

Prices in Germany (incl. 19% VAT):

sale&care
Coupé
Cabrio
smart fortwo electric drive
€ 18,910.00
€ 22,000.00
Battery rental
€ 65.00 per moth
€ 65.00 per month
Vehicle including battery
Coupé
Cabrio
smart fortwo electric drive
€ 23,680.00
€ 26,770.00

The first vehicles have already been delivered to customers in Germany, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Italy and Portugal. All further markets – more than 30 in total – will follow successively.

Investments secure the future of the Hambach plant

Considerable investments of more than 200 million Euro in the expansion and modification of the plant plus preparatory measures for the successor series to the current smart secure the future of the plant. The largest individual project with a total investment of more than 50 million Euro is the new painting plant where an environmentally-friendly liquid painting process that meets the current Daimler Group standard will replace the present powder coating process. This plant will greatly expand the variety of paint colours that can be realised, which means that in future smart customers will also be able to choose the colour of the tridion safety cell of their smart from all available paint finishes.

A success story: the smart plant in Hambach

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. Some 1475 employees work at the site, around 750 in the plant itself and a further 725 at the seven system partners who are also based there. The one millionth smart fortwo was built in September 2008, coinciding with the tenth birthday of the brand. To date more than 1.4 million vehicles have left the plant.

The plant in Lorraine has always stood for an innovative production concept. The assembly line is shaped like a "plus" symbol to enable it to meet assembly and logistics requirements optimally, thus ensuring highly efficient production processes. This principle enables system partners and suppliers to deliver modules right to the assembly line. In this way, transport and logistics are reduced to a minimum – an advantage not least in ecological terms. The design of the vehicles and the state-of-the-art energy concept also ensure that the smart brand's ecological product responsibility is translated into the production. For instance, smartville has its own gas-fuelled heat and power plant which supplies the site with heat and covers around 25 per cent of its electricity requirements. Waste water is treated directly on site in smart's own treatment plant with a membrane filter system. The quality of the treated water is better than the natural bodies of water into which it is discharged.