Smart USA have unveiled their latest vehicle, called the ‘electric drive’, which is an electric version of their existing compact Smart Car. Smart cars are instantly recognizable due to their shape and size, and now the company is producing an environmentally-friendly equivalent to their gasoline-driven model.
The new model is expected to go on sale in October, with 250 units produced initially in Fairfield County, US. It will be like the gasoline model of the Smart car, but instead of a combustion engine a battery will be installed in the cargo space in the truck. The fuel tank will also be replaced with an electrical outlet for charging. Smart is currently traveling around the country with six models, displaying them to the public and press alike.
The stats for the car are impressive — the typical model can go 83 miles before needing a recharge, which can be achieved by plugging it into 110-volt or 220-volt outlets. The brakes also charge the batteries. Despite its diminutive size, the car is also durable thanks in part to its shape, which is that of an ellipsoid (like a coconut) — one of the strongest structures known. The driver of the car is also protected by two layers of micro-alloy high-strength steel as well as a roll cage.
At first, 50 Electric Drive cars will be available for lease at $599 a month for up to four years. After that, 200 other models will be available in Indianapolis, Tampa/Orlando, San Fransisco/San Jose and Oregon. Worldwide, 2,000 cars will be available, with the model going on mass release in 2012.