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 |  Mar 07 2011, 2:09 PM

The pint-sized smart fortwo might not be for everyone. Despite being a practical means of transportation for those who mostly drive in city centers, its quirky gearbox is a pain to use in stop and go traffic because its not the smoothest system on the planet.

The smart e.d. (electric drive) on the other hand eliminates that problem, because it has no gearbox, so it is smooth all the way.

The 2nd generation model of the smart e.d. was sold in a limited number of just 250-units in North America, and you could only lease the vehicle, not buy it outright. It wasn’t cheap either. Leasing one would have run you $599 a month, and a down payment of $2,500 was due at signing. You could have easily leased two regular smart cars for that amount and still would have been left with some pocket change to buy some gas.

But the smart e.d. was not really a production car, it was a prototype that was allowed out for a real world test. But starting January 2012, you’ll be able to get your hands on the 3rd generation of the smart e.d. This model will be available for both lease and outright purchase, and while we don’t have any pricing for it yet, chances are it will be cheaper than the previous model.

So if you want a little electric run-about, you don’t have to wait too long now to get your hands on one.

[Source: Cars.com]

Report: Smart fortwo Electric Car Announced for 2012

Pre-production models to begin testing in the U.S. and Europe next year

 |  Oct 14 2009, 12:34 PM
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Daimler AG has announced that the second generation Smart fortwo electric drive will go into series production starting in 2012. The announcement was made during the visit of French President Nicolas Sarkozy to the facility where the electric Smart cars will be built in Hambach, France.

A small number of vehicles will begin production in November of this year as Daimler continues to test the product durability and battery capability. Using a more compact lithium-ion battery pack sourced from U.S. electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc., the second generation of the Smart fortwo electric drive doesn’t compromise space and has adequate room for two adults. Power is rated at 30 kW (40-hp) and 120 Nm (89 ft-lbs) of torque, with a range of 135 km (84 miles). The initial vehicles will begin testing this year in cities across Europe and the U.S.
Smart claims the cars can hit 60 km/h in 6.5 seconds (the same as the gasoline models) and are speed-limited to 100 km/h (60 mph).

GALLERY: Smart fortwo Electric Drive

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Official release after the jump:

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