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smart Pulls The Plug On The fortwo Electric Drive

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On: Mon, Aug 24, 2015 at 12:47PM | By: Carl Malek

smart Pulls The Plug On The fortwo Electric Drive

In an announcement that received little fanfare, Smart has revealed that it has stopped production of the fortwo electric drive EV in a step to help prepare for full production of the next generation smart fortwo.

Smart stated that demand for the tiny EV is low but the sales numbers that it does generate have been steady during its production run and is not the main reason the electric drive version is being discontinued. Rather, it is because that the model is based on the last generation Smart fortwo, and building that model alongside the next generation smart forwto in its plant in Hambach, France, would have required a costly investment and major tweaks to the plant to accomodate it, which would be very impractical and hard to justify especially for a low-volume model like the electric drive.

The company claims that it still has a handful of electric drive models in its global inventory bank, and was quick to predict that all of them will be spoken for by the end of the year. Buyers who choose to wait for a new model will be pleased to hear that the firm is developing an all-new model with help from production partner Renault, but production is not expected to start until sometime next year which would allow the standard fortwo time to launch and establish itself with buyers. Based on this timeframe, expect the next generation electric drive to possibly make its debut at the 2016 Paris Motor Show with the first units arriving in the U.S. as a 2017 model.

Like its predecessor, the upcoming electric drive would be based on the fortwo, but Smart will make it more focused than before with new battery technology and better aerodynamics being parts of the package. An enduring rumor is that the slightly bigger Smart forfour will also gain an EV variant, however, details regarding that model are murky at the moment with Smart not formally commenting on whether such a model is indeed in the works, though we suspect that the forfour will primarily be a Europe-only offering.


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