All-Electric Smart Fortwo with Tesla Li-ion Batteries to enter Production in November

The first examples of Smart's second-generation Fortwo Electric Drive will roll off the production line at the firm's Hambach plant in France in mid November, the company announced today. Initially, the all-electric Smart that is powered by a lithium-ion battery sourced from Tesla Motors (Daimler recently bought a 10 percent stake in the company) will be leased to customers in Berlin and other cities in Europe and the USA but from 2012 it will enter series production and be available through the Smart dealer network to anyone interested

The plug-in Smart gets a magneto-electric motor, which delivers 30kW or 41-horsepower and 120 Nm or 89 lb-ft of torque, and is installed at the rear of the vehicle. It can accelerate from 0 to 60 km/h (37 mph) in 6.5 seconds while its top speed is limited to 100 km/h or 62 mph.

Power is provided 14 kWh lithium-ion battery pack which is housed in the underfloor between the axles where the tank is located in other smart models meaning that the interior space is not compromised. The battery can be charged at any fused 220 Volt socket with Smart claiming that a three-hour charge will get you about 30 to 40 km (25 miles) while an 'overnight' full charge is sufficient for up to 115 kilometers (72 miles) of driving.

Smart says that, based on German electricity prices, it costs about two euros (approx $2.8 at today's exchange rates) to drive the Fortwo Electric Drive for 100 kilometers or 62 miles, which is less than the price of two liters of petrol in Germany.