The popular smart fortwo vehicles were officially presented on the US market by its distributor, smart USA, a subsidiary of Penske Automotive Group, that is geared to present a program this fall that would highlight electric drive vehicles with interested partners in chosen areas across the US. Smart USA will organize a fleet of 250 electric drive vehicles throughout the US this fall, aiming key electrification leadership cities and Department of Energy grant areas. The roster of partners will be released later this year with series production for retail sales in dealer shops that is set to start in 2012 with the 2013 model year.
Based on their press release, the fleet of 250 electric drive vehicles for US is set to be delivered this coming October 2010 and is said to be the second phase of a three-phase program. Its phase one was launched with the mobilization of 100 electric drive vehicles in London in 2007. Phase two was the manufacturing of 1,500 cars for cities in Europe, the United States and Canada as well as chosen markets in Asia, and the initial deliveries were made in Germany in the final quarter of 2009. Its third phase will be series volume production that would start in the 2012 model year.
The phase-two smart fortwo electric drive vehicles are exclusively electric-only vehicles that utilizes a 30kW (41 hp) electric motor and a 16.5 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The vehicles feature a driving range of 82 miles per charge. The cars can be charged using only a standard 220V outlet, and features a fast charge (from 20 to 80 percent) which would last for around three and a half hours and a full charge will take eight hours. The vehicles can also be charged through a common 110V household outlet.
Additionally, the US trial program will offer third generation technology developers with performance experience in the span of different geographies and climates within the US. The facts collected in the phase-two vehicle research will feature the performance, range capability and time allotted for recharging the series production vehicles with third generation technology.