Smart electric drives to improve

Smart cars may offer improved electric drives in the future, following real-life trials being conducted for their manufacturer, Mercedes-Benz.


Smart cars may offer improved electric drives in the future, following real-life trials being conducted for their manufacturer, Mercedes-Benz.


Elektromotive, a Brighton-based provider of electric-vehicle (EV) recharging stations, has been selected as one of the UK companies trialling the Smart electric drive.


The trial will test Smart cars in ‘real-life’ situations that will give Mercedes-Benz the necessary data to shape the development of the vehicle.


Mercedes-Benz have provided Elektromotive with a fully electric Smart to use over the next four years. Following this, Elektromotive will report back on the car’s battery performance, reliability and range.


The information will be evaluated by Smart as it moves towards small series production of the Smart electric drive in 2010.


Elektromotive believe the trial will also add to its ongoing research and development programme, helping it devise EV charging facilities for installation at the roadside, in car parks, at homes and in business premises.


‘The shift towards zero emissions motoring is fast gathering pace and it is vital that fully compatible recharging infrastructures for EVs are put in place across Europe,’ said Calvey Taylor-Haw, Elektromotive’s managing director.


‘With daily access to a smart electric drive we will accelerate the real-world evaluation of new charging technologies, such as fast-charging solutions for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles.’


The Smart electric-drive car, developed by Mercedes-Benz, is powered solely on electricity and charged using a standard three-pin plug. The almost silent, non-emitting, two-seater vehicle has a range of up to 70 miles and a top speed of 60mph.


Dermot Kelly, managing director of Mercedes-Benz UK, said, ‘The smart electric-drive project is an important part of our commitment towards developing sustainable transport solutions across the Mercedes-Benz business.


‘Smart continues to be a pioneer in the world of environmentally friendly and economical driving and we’re delighted that Elektromotive is our partner in this exciting electric car trial.’