Daimler AG started production of the new smart fortwo electric drive at the smart Hambach plant. Like the models with combustion engines, the electric vehicle is now rolling off the production line in the standardised production process. Furthermore, Daimler invests more than €200 million to upgrade the site and secure its future.
“The new smart electric drive and the expansion of the Hambach plant are two important milestones for the future of smart”, said Dr. Annette Winkler, Head of smart. “With the new smart electric drive we are further expanding our leading position in urban mobility and making fully electric driving accessible to everyone. For this – and for the successor generation to the current smart – we are making significant investments in the Hambach site. And I am convinced that this is money extremely well invested.”
Dr. Joachim Betker, Head of the smart plant in Hambach, emphasised the ground-breaking integration of the electric version in the production process: “For the first time we have realised the consistent and perfectly integrated production of models with electric drive and those with combustion engines. In production, we are now optimally utilising the smart vehicle concept’s immanent potential for different drive systems.”
Goodbye, filling stations – the new smart fortwo electric drive
12 June 2012 – this date marks the start of sales* for the first real alternative to the usual refuelling stops. With the launch of the new smart fortwo electric drive, in future smart customers can enjoy even more fun at the wheel of an attractively priced vehicle that has the familiar compact dimensions – as a coupé or a cabriolet. The most important feature distinguishing it from its siblings with conventional engines is the fact that it has no exhaust, which means that it does not produce any emissions on the road.
With its 55kW electric motor the smart fortwo electric drive accelerates from 0 – 60 km/h in 4.8 seconds, and with a maximum speed of 125 km/h driving pleasure is also guaranteed on urban motorways. The 17.6 kWh battery enables the urban two-seater to travel approximately 145 kilometres in city traffic without producing any local emissions. As those components each come from joint ventures with the German companies Bosch (EM-motive) and Evonik (Deutsche ACCUmotive) and as the vehicle is built in the plant in Hambach (France), the new smart fortwo electric drive is the first true European electric car.
The new sale&care model makes opting into electric mobility particularly attractive: it offers customers an opportunity to buy, finance or lease the vehicle at an attractive price and to rent the battery for a monthly fee. Purchase, financing or leasing of the vehicle including the battery is also possible.
Prices in Germany (including 19% VAT):
Delivery in Germany starts in late summer, all other markets – a total of more than 30 – will follow successively.
Significant investments in expansion and modifications
The company is making significant investments in the plant to secure its future. The total investments for the expansion and modification of the plant plus preparatory measures for the successor series to the current smart exceed €200 million. The largest individual project with a total investment of more than €50 million is the new paint shop where an environmentally-friendly liquid painting process that meets the current Daimler Group standard for passenger car plants will replace the present powder painting process. The new paint shop will thus greatly expand the variety of paint colours that can be realised, which means that in future smart customers will also be able to choose the colour of the tridion safety cell of their smart from all available paint finishes.
A success story: the smart plant in Hambach
The smart plant in Hambach was inaugurated in 1997 and has produced the smart fortwo since 1998 – in its second generation since 2007. In 2011 more than 103,000 vehicles rolled off the production line. Approximately 1,500 people work at the site, consisting of about 800 employees at the plant itself and a further 700 at the seven local system partners. The one millionth smart fortwo was built in September 2008, coinciding with the tenth birthday of the brand. To date more than 1.3 million vehicles have left the plant.
The plant in Lorraine has always stood for an innovative production concept. The assembly line has the shape of a “plus” symbol to enable it to optimally meet assembly and logistics requirements, ensuring highly efficient production processes. This principle enables system partners and suppliers to deliver modules right to the assembly line. Transport and logistics are therefore reduced to a minimum – an advantage not least also in ecological terms. In addition, the construction principle of the vehicle and a modern energy concept ensure that the smart brand’s ecological product responsibility is translated into the production: For example, smartville has its own thermal power station that produces heat for the plant and covers approximately 25 per cent of its demand for electricity. In the site’s sewage treatment plant, the wastewater is immediately treated at its origin, using a membrane filter system. The quality of the treated wastewater is superior to the quality of the natural waters it is discharged into.
Source: Daimler AG