Daimler's mini-car division smart recently announced it will soon begin selling what it calls the most affordable production electric vehicle in the US.
The vehicle, which entered mass production back in June, will also be joined by a cabriolet style model that will retail at $28,000 and is said to be the only convertible electric vehicle on the market. From what we know of the smart electric fortwo from previous reporting, it sports a 55 kW electric motor that allows the vehicle to hit 37 MPH in 4.8 seconds. It has a top speed of just over 77 MPH, and with a range of just 90 miles or so, is destined for most to be an urban commuting vehicle at best.
The car is configured as a two-seater, equipped with a 17.6 kWh battery. A 22 kW on-board charger allows for this battery, when completely empty, to be fully charged in less than an hour. A power cable is needed for this, which is used to connect the vehicle to a public quick-charging station or a wall box at home or work.
The vehicle, among various features, will have regenerative braking to return some energy to the battery and availability in a variety of color body choices. One might also expect to see options possibly, based upon what's being offered in the EV in international markets, that include fully automatic air conditioning with pollen filter, electric windows, a leather steering wheel, leather gear knob, a trip computer that shows journey information including the remaining range and a navigation system.
One additional thing of note, if smart brings it to the US version, is a special smartphone app that works with an iPhone. Together with a "smart kit and cradle" it offers functions like hands free calling, music streaming, GPS, helping you find your way back to your car in a parking lot and the ability to to start pre-entry climate control so your car is nice and toasty when you climb in on a cold winter's day.