De smart fortwo heb ik altijd al een cool autootje gevonden. Mijn vriendin had ooit zo’n smartje en ik vond het echt leuk om daar af en toe in te rijden. Nu weet ik niet of ik mijzelf een dienst bewijs met deze bekentenis, maar ik ben gewoon eerlijk (en nee, dit is geen advertorial). Ik vind het dan ook aardig om te zien dat het met de smart fortwo helemaal goed gekomen is.
Jaren lang is smart een blok aan het been geweest van DaimlerChrysler (ondertussen Daimler). Er werd geen cent verdiend aan het trendy compacte stadsautootje, sterker nog, er moest iedere keer weer een bak geld bij. Er zijn zelfs momenten geweest dat velen zich afvroegen wanneer DaimlerChrysler de stekker er definitief uit zou trekken. Zover is het niet gekomen.
Het heeft even geduurd, maar de wereld heeft de smart fortwo ontdekt. De timing van Daimler om de fortwo in de Verenigde Staten te introduceren, kon niet beter. Om tegemoet te komen aan de Amerikaanse veiligheidseisen, groeide de fortwo iets in omvang. Zelfs Shaquille O’Neal met z’n lengte van 2,16 meter en gewicht van 150 kg laat zich graag in een Smart op de foto zetten.
Dat is natuurlijk ietwat overdreven, want Shaq is toch echt een maatje te groot, maar feit is wel dat lange mensen verrassend goed passen in een fortwo. Met mijn lengte van 1,95 meter spreek ik uit ervaring. De Brit Keith Edwards met zijn lengte van 2,01 meter is lid van de Britse “Tall Persons Club GB & Ireland” en is erg te spreken over de fortwo waar hij jaarlijks 32.000 kilometer in aflegt.
“I find it remarkably comfortable, even when I’ve completed my regular round trip from Devon to my firm’s headquarters in Cambridge. It also only takes 10 minutes to wash and I never tire of people’s reactions when I climb out, but it is the smart’s running costs that have really impressed and as well as saving hundreds of pounds on insurance and tax I’m using about £30 less fuel a month.”
Ondertussen rolde onlangs de miljoenste fortwo in het Franse Hambach van de band en rijden er in Londen een aantal elektrische exemplaren rond. De elektrische modellen worden daar in “real-life” situaties getest. Lees desgewenst meer hierover in onderstaande persberichten.
Tot zover mijn propaganda, maar ik denk dat je met me eens zult zijn dat het met de smart fortwo helemaal goed gekomen is.
Persbericht elektrische smart fortwo in Londen:
We’d like to introduce you to a car that’s designed to bring a breath of fresh air to the streets: the refreshingly new smart electric vehicle – or smart ed, as we call it. It’s the natural product of smart’s unswerving commitment to the environment and innovation – not to mention fun. It isn’t available to buy just yet, but it isn’t a million miles off.
Think of a smart. Then think of an electric socket concealed behind what used to be the fuel cap. Picture the complete absence of exhaust fumes, so no CO2 emissions from the rear. Close your eyes and hear… no sound at all coming from the engine. Imagine no engine oil, no road tax, and no London congestion charge and you’ll start to get a sense of what really makes the new smart ed tick.
Powered solely by electricity, and chargeable from any three-pin socket the smart ed can achieve the equivalent of 300 mpg – that amounts to a saving of up to 80% in fuel costs over the already highly economical smart fortwo. The ev can travel up to 72 miles between charges, which typically take around 8 hours for a full charge – ideal for charging at work between your morning and evening commutes. If your journey takes you into the capital, you will find free electricity provided by some London boroughs, as well as free or discounted parking. With a top-up charge during the day, the smart ed’s daily range weighs in at 100 miles.
With that in mind, we’re running a market trial with selected blue chip companies who are happy to meet our requirements to power the cars using only renewable energy sources. When we say zero emissions, we really mean it! Among the partners already enrolled in the trial are Urban Splash, Islington and Coventry Councils, Foster & Partners, CarbonNeutral Company, EDF Energy and Amey.
What’s more, our ed hasn’t had to sacrifice any of the fortwo’s performance or class-leading equipment: expect the full complement of Mercedes-Benz safety features and a powerful Zytek electric motor, electronically-limited top speed of 60 mph. Once it’s up to speed (0-30mph in an impressive 6.5 seconds) the ed uses its tiny weight gain to deliver an exciting and stable drive.
So there you have it: a zero emission vehicle that is 100% smart; a car that will save money and the environment. Although the smart ed won’t be available to the public just yet, it’s definitely something we’re working on.
Persbericht 1 miljoenste smart fortwo:
Hambach – Today, the one millionth smart fortwo rolled off the production line at the plant in Hambach, France – a micro hybrid drive (mhd) in the passion equipment line. On the occasion of the production anniversary and the tenth birthday of the smart brand Daimler presented the new smart electric drive. In Hambach Dr. Dieter Zetsche, President and CEO of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars said “The smart electric drive makes zero emission driving in an urban environment a reality.”
The anniversary vehicle, which celebrates the tenth birthday of the Hambach plant and is the one millionth fortwo, rolled off the production line as an mhd passion with a 52 kW/71 bhp engine in the colour silver metallic. The car will be donated to charity. Dr. Dieter Zetsche, President and CEO of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, congratulated the team at the Hambach plant on their work. “The continuing rising demand shows the success and the potential of the smart fortwo from Hambach. This year we have already sold 90,000 cars, more than 16,000 of them in the USA. From mid 2009 the smart will also become a familiar sight on Chinese roads.”
The smart fortwo electric drive
The new smart fortwo electric drive offers the brand additional growth opportunities: “From the end of 2009 we will produce a small series of the smart fortwo electric drive with a lithium-ion battery”, Dr. Dieter Zetsche said. The predecessor of the smart fortwo electric drive, the smart fortwo ev (electric vehicle), celebrated its world premiere in 2006. Since 2007 a fleet with a total of 100 smart fortwo electric drives of the first generation has been tested in everyday service in London. With the new smart fortwo generation the smart with electric drive is also being reengineered. Whereas the first generation of the smart fortwo electric drive is equipped with a sodium-nickel-chloride battery, the second generation will be fitted with a lithium-ion battery. This battery combines higher performance with a long life and high reliability.
smart success story
Anders Sundt Jensen, Head of Brand Management at smart takes stock after ten years of smart: “The fortwo is a success story – it has won lots of fans in 37 markets worldwide. The smart is particularly sought-after in the USA which, even in the first year of the market launch, has become the third strongest market after Italy and Germany. There it is already a familiar sight on the roads of cities such as Los Angeles, New York City, Washington DC, San Francisco and Phoenix.“
The smart fortwo has always been most popular among customers in Italy and Germany: approximately two thirds of drivers of the new fortwo come from these two countries. The high quality “passion” equipment line is particularly popular and is chosen by two thirds of smart customers worldwide. In Germany and Italy every 5th smart driver drives the CO2 champion, the smart fortwo cdi. The economical diesel variant of the two-seater consumes just 3.3 litres per 100 kilometres in accordance with the New European Driving Cycle and emits just 88 grams of CO2 per kilometre – the lowest figure worldwide.
From October both the 52 kW/71 bhp and the 45 kW/61 bhp models will be equipped with mhd technology as standard. These are also the most popular engine variants with customers. This reduces the NEDC consumption by approximately 8 percent to 4.3 litres per 100 km and in urban traffic a fuel saving of almost 20 percent can be achieved.
Production at the smart plant in Hambach
Plant Manager Dr. Marcus Nicolai says “More than 800 skilled and motivated employees are responsible for the excellent quality of every smart fortwo that leaves the plant. The outstanding success of the second generation smart fortwo ensures that the capacity of our site is very well utilised. Flexible production methods have enabled us to react extremely well to the high demand.”
The smart plant in Hambach was inaugurated in 1997 and production of the first smart fortwo started in 1998. Around 14 hectares of the approximately 70 hectare site are built on. In 2007 more than 800 employees and around a further 1000 people employed by seven system partners produced more than 100,000 smart fortwos. Since 2007 the second generation of the smart fortwo has rolled off the production line in Hambach.
The production in Hambach is known for its innovation and efficiency. The assembly line in the shape of a plus sign has been designed to optimally meet the demands of assembly and logistics and ensures efficient production processes. This principle enables the system partners to supply modules directly to the assembly line. Transport and logistics costs are reduced to a minimum. This is an important contribution to environmentally compatible production at the site. In addition, the environmentally friendly and cost effective painting of the plant, an energy concept with numerous opportunities for making savings and the construction of the vehicles ensure that the ecological product responsibility of the smart brand is realised in the production.