Smart has confirmed that an electric version of the Fortwo will go on sale in the UK from 2012, to coincide with the start of a £250m government initiative to promote low-carbon transport.
The Mercedes-owned carmaker has also announced that the Smart ED (electric drive) will go into limited series production and be available in the UK from 2010. It will be available to lease from £150 per month.
A Smart ED has been undergoing trials in the UK since 2007. It has been evaluated by bodies such as police forces, universities, local authorities and electricity generating companies, the cars being made available to them on four-year leases at a cost of £375 per month.
However, a new car will be fitted with lithium ion batteries, as opposed to the nickel hydride versions in the cars used for the trials. These new power sources will require a shorter charging time and improve performance. Smart hasn’t revealed what it expects the range to be, however.
London will be one of the first cities in the world to see the Smart ED on its streets: it will be joined by Rome, Milan and Paris.