Smart grids up for Frankfurt

Mercedes-Benz has revealed a heavily revised version of the Smart Fortwo ED (Electric Drive) boasting greater performance and additional range among other refinements to the compact rear-wheel drive plug-in electric car.

Planned to make its world premiere at next month’s Frankfurt motor show, the so-called phase three Fortwo ED receives a completely new driveline consisting of a more powerful brushless electric motor supplied by Bosch and a higher capacity lithium ion battery.

Peak power increases by 25kW over the phase two Fortwo ED from 30kW to 55kW, with nominal power up by 15kW from 20kW to 35kW. Torque has also risen by 10Nm ft to 130Nm. The increase in reserves cuts the new car’s 0-60km/h time by 1.5sec to a claimed 5.0sec. The 0-100km/h time has also been reduced to under 13.0sec, while top speed increases from 100km/h to 120km/h.

The new electric motor draws energy from a new lithium ion battery up in capacity from the previous 14.0kWh Telsa produced unit to 17.6kWh. The new battery is produced by German-based Deutsche ACCUmotive, a joint venture between Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler and German alternative energy specialist Evonik.

The increased capacity is claimed to bring about a 25km increase in range at 140km/h. Mercedes-Benz put the nominal recharge time at eight hours on a standard mains socket or under an hour with the on-board 22kW high capacity charger.

The new Smart Fortwo ED is planned to be sold in up to 30 markets worldwide – up from 18 markets with the phase two version.

Production is also set to be boosted from a limited 2000 with the phase two version to over 10,000 with the new phase three Fortwo ED.

Meanwhile, Smart has announced plans to add a new plug-in electric bicycle to its line-up. The new two wheeler, called the ebike and to be revealed in what insiders describe in near-to-production-ready- form at next month’s Frankfurt motor show, uses a 250 watt brushless electric hub motor mounted within the rear 26-inch wheel and produced by BionX to supplement the rider’s muscle power.

A handlebar mounted control unit offers four different levels of electric assistance with energy supplied by a 400Wh lithium ion battery mounted within the bike’s frame.

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