Daimler starts mass production of electric car
German automaker Daimler has kicked off series production of its Smart Fortwo electric vehicle, securing itself pole position in the field against its European rivals. The first units will be available in Germany soon.
Daimler on Tuesday, 12 June, became the first German automaker to begin mass production of an electric car. The Stuttgart-based company reported it had started series production of its Smart Fortwo ED (Electric Drive) vehicle in its facility at Hambach in France.
Daimler said the car could be ordered as of now and would be available to German and other customers in the fall of this year. The German carmaker is currently investing 200 million euros to completely modernise the Hambach plant, which was inaugurated back in 2007.
Enlarge image (© dpa) "The new Smart ED is the first genuine electric car in Europe," Daimler said in a statement. Its vital electronic components come from both Daimler and car parts supplier Bosch.
Series production of the Smart ForTwo ED involves the third generation of the two-set vehicle. It includes a more powerful electric engine, which improves acceleration and top speed. A new lithium-ion battery pack will increase the top range to 140 kilometres. Daimler said a quick-charge option would be available.