I will try my best to provide detailed info on various cars and what is like to live with them, I have already produced a few for Jaguar-car-forums, I will do my best to be unbiased, but it will be hard for some cars. I will re-produce press releases and copy from other motoring news.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

USA - Motor Trend has named the Chevrolet Bolt Electric Vehicle as its 2017 Car Of The Year.

MOTOR TREND has recognized the Chevrolet Bolt EV — the all-new affordable electric vehicle offering an EPA-estimated 238 miles of range on a full charge — as its 2017 Car of the Year®.
The editors based their selection on the Bolt EV’s performance in six evaluation categories: advancement in design, engineering excellence, efficiency, safety, value and performance of intended function.

“Chevrolet is the fastest-growing full-line retail brand in the industry thanks to an exceptional vehicle lineup, which includes ground-breaking products like the Bolt EV,” said Alan Batey, president of GM North America and Global Chevrolet brand chief. “Being recognized once again as MOTOR TREND Car of the Year is a great honour for the entire Chevrolet team.”
It is the fourth MOTOR TREND award for Chevrolet in three years, with the Camaro recognized as the 2016 Car of the Year and Colorado named the 2015 and 2016 Truck of the Year.
“Chevrolet is on a roll with new and compelling vehicles that have reset the bar for trucks in 2015, trucks and sports cars in 2016, and for 2017, electric cars,” said Ed Loh, MOTOR TREND Editor-in-Chief. “The Bolt EV is certainly a game changing vehicle and we look forward to seeing whether we’ll be recognizing another Chevrolet next year in our annual awards.”

Kia launches a new, even more sporty and powerful SOUL, the Exclaim adds 40hp to the already powerful 1.6 litre Turbo.

  • New Soul Exclaim Adds 1.6-liter Turbocharged GDI Engine with 40 More Horsepower, 45 More lb.-ft. of Torque and More to Love
  • More power makes Kia’s funky urban runabout more fun than ever
  • More power and improved fuel economy
  • Other love-inducing additions include specialized trim and upscale, sportier features
It’s hard to make something great even better, but Kia did when it added a 201-horsepower turbocharged engine to one of its best-selling, most-iconic and most beloved vehicles. Fans of the Soul had long lobbied for a little more zip in their favorite ride and the 2017 Soul Exclaim didn’t disappoint when it was revealed to media today.
“We wanted to provide loyal Soul lovers and new buyers a sportier option,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president, product planning KMA. “The 2017 Soul Exclaim with its turbocharged engine gives the car’s fans another wonderful choice from an already wonderful line-up.”

Though the 1.6-liter turbo engine adds 40 horsepower, fuel economy is 28 miles-per-gallon, city and highway combined[1]—slightly better than the combined mileage of the 2.0-liter normally-aspirated 161-hp engine in the Soul Plus and in the Soul Base 1.6-liter, which produces 130 horsepower.
Performance in the turbocharged Exclaim is further enhanced by the addition of a new 7-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT), which, via quicker and smoother shift points and no shift shock, makes for more dynamic acceleration and contributes to a more engaging driving experience.
In addition to the turbo engine, the Exclaim includes specialized trim and sportier features, including: exclusive 18-inch wheels; red-accented body trim; chrome grille surround, unique Soul tailgate badge; and, for the first time on Soul, dual chrome twin-tip exhaust.
The Exclaim also gets a standard leather-wrapped, D-shaped steering wheel, push button start with smart key and UVO3[2] with e-Services with integrated Android Auto™[3] and Apple CarPlay ™.[4] A thumping 315-watt Harman Kardon®[5] premium audio system with eight speakers, including a center channel and subwoofer, navigation and 8-inch touchscreen display is also available. Other new options for the 2017 model year are convenience systems such as Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Blind Spot Detection are also available[6].
The 2017 Soul is available in three trim levels: Base with manual or automatic 6-speed transmission; Soul Plus with the 6-speed automatic; and the Exclaim turbo with the new 7-speed DCT. There are also two new exterior colors. Redesigned headlights and fog lights, along with front and rear fascias lend a more aggressive appearance while the availability of two dedicated USB charge ports and an 8-way power passenger seat add convenience and comfort.

USA - Ford launches the EcoSport to North America, after being in Europe (not that successfully) for some time.

  • Ford introduces all-new EcoSport for North America today during the world’s first-ever Snapchat vehicle reveal; event kicks off a three-day interactive experience in Hollywood open to the public through Wednesday
  • Fun, capable and connected, EcoSport gives drivers the freedom and versatility to go small and live big
  • Technology – including SYNC 3 with a high-resolution 8-inch floating touch screen, Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ – easily integrates your smartphone and keeps you connected to friends and family while on the move

Ford today introduces the all-new EcoSport for North America for those who want space-saving convenience and SUV capability.
The EcoSport – a fun, capable, connected compact SUV – stars in the world’s first-ever vehicle reveal on Snapchat, kicking off a Hollywood pop-up event open to the public through Wednesday evening.
The interactive event showcases how EcoSport is a perfect companion for those who believe in going small and living big.
“More people are choosing to spend their time and money sharing experiences with friends and family instead of buying more stuff,” said Chantel Lenard, ‎executive director, Ford U.S. marketing. “EcoSport fits perfectly into this growing lifestyle. It’s our smallest SUV, packed with features and personality.”

Fun sound, color and style
EcoSport’s available premium B&O PLAY audio system brings your music to life. HARMAN acoustic engineers spent hundreds of hours perfecting the in-vehicle music experience.  

The Ford-exclusive B&O PLAY audio system, standard on EcoSport Titanium, features 10 speakers, including B&O PLAY-branded tweeters and woofers in the front doors and a subwoofer in back. The 675-watt system unlocks the power of your favorite music and transforms every drive into a “living big” experience.
EcoSport also features available HD Radio technology, SiriusXM® satellite radio and a dual FM radio antenna that boosts the range and clarity of FM signals.
Customers looking to stand apart from the crowd will find plenty of ways to personalize their EcoSport. Along with 10 exterior color choices, there are seven ambient lighting options and four trim level offerings – S, SE, SES and Titanium. All series feature a swing-gate-style tailgate.
The personality-packed SES series makes the biggest splash. It features Intelligent 4WD, sport-tuned suspension and steering, and unique styling cues inside and out – including bold copper accents for the interior and sport seats.
Connected technology
EcoSport makes it easy to stay in touch with friends and family with SYNC® 3, Ford’s communications and entertainment system. Faster, more intuitive and easier to use, the system provides more conversational voice recognition and enhanced response to driver commands. Optimized for hands-free use, SYNC 3 for EcoSport is coupled with a touch screen similar to a smartphone or tablet. The 8-inch screen gives front-row occupants easy access to operate available Apple CarPlay and Android Auto commands, and B&O PLAY audio settings.

Drivers also have the ability to start, lock, unlock and locate their vehicle from almost anywhere using available SYNC Connect with FordPass®. The mobile app lets owners view vehicle information, such as the fuel level and odometer reading, when not in the vehicle.
EcoSport features two fast-charging USB ports to ensure owners’ devices are always juiced. Plus, there’s a 12-volt power outlet. An available 110-volt outlet positioned behind the center console and another 12-volt outlet allow rear-seat passengers to stay plugged in, too.
Capable, powerful and sporty
Equipped with either the award-winning, 1.0-liter three-cylinder turbocharged EcoBoost® or 2.0-liter four-cylinder, EcoSport provides power and control. Drivers opting for the 2.0-liter engine get Ford’s Intelligent 4WD standard. Both come with six-speed automatic transmissions.

As many as 30 stowage pockets, bins, hooks make efficient use of every interior inch. A cargo management system at the rear features a movable floor board and fold-away second-row seats to provide a flat area for moving furniture and other larger items.
EcoSport consumer experience in Hollywood
Located at Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue, the Ford EcoSport Go Small, Live Big experience is open to the public Tuesday and Wednesday from 2 to 10 p.m. Registration and tickets are managed by FordPresents.com.

The EcoSport event consumer experiences include:
  • Small stage, big entertainment: A sound and light environment showcases the EcoSport’s available B&O PLAY audio system, ambient lighting and LED display. Special musical performances include Chromeo (DJ set), Echosmith, Phillip Phillips, Atlas Genius and Chord Overstreet – plus a popular DJ for the big reveal
  • Small bites, big flavor: Downtown L.A.’s super-trendy Smorgasburg hosts local food vendors. Mama Musubi, Donut Friend, Goa Taco and Amazebowls serve up bite-sized food, while Paloma’s Paletas and Wanderlust Creamery are on hand with food carts
  • Small footprint, big life: Two tiny homes from 84LUMBER – a cabin and a beach cottage – are on display. Both are less than 200 square feet and inspired by EcoSport’s personality and spirit of adventure. These custom art installations by L.A.-based Onch Movement and “The Most Famous Artist” Matty Mo encourage stylish, simple living. After the event, Ford and 84LUMBER are donating one of the homes in partnership with the Ron Finley Project – a south Los Angeles nonprofit dedicated to promoting healthy communities
  • Small animals, big joy: Los Angeles Wildlife Learning Center experts teach you about the group’s tiny rescue animals, including owls, chinchillas, foxes, sugar gliders, prairie dogs, bunnies and hedgehogs
  • Small beach, big oasis: Paying homage to Venice Beach, surf culture comes alive with real sand and Surfset Fitness, surf-inspired exercise equipment and group fitness classes via the world’s first total body surf trainer designed to mimic the instability of a surfboard on water. Nail artist group Cutepolish features the hottest nail art designs, do-it-yourself nail techniques and trendy polish styles
EcoSport visitors also can share their experiences on social media platforms. Collect and share unique Snapchat geo-filters, an all-new Snapchat innovation exclusive to Ford’s EcoSport consumer experience. An overall Snapchat geo-filter allows attendees to post unique Go Small, Live Big content.
The all-new Ford EcoSport starts arriving in dealerships in early 2018.

The smart range can now had a COntrol App to do varying operations, like heating up the car or accessing car info remotely.

Perfect drive for the perfect city car
With the new "smart control" app lots of electric drive information can be called up via smartphone, tablet or PC and functions such as pre-entry climate control or intelligent charging can be conveniently controlled remotely.
Under the microscope: The "smart control" app
Permanent online connection to the smart
With the new "smart control" app lots of electric drive information can be called up via smartphone, tablet or PC and functions such as pre-entry climate control or intelligent charging can be conveniently controlled remotely. 
The new model has more operating options than the predecessor. For example, two programmable departure times mean that intelligent charging and pre-entry climate control do not always need to be reset for frequent journeys.
The "smart control" app enables simple operation of lots of functions of the smart electric drive. smart drivers can see the current battery state of charge and the range before they set off or activate the pre-entry climate control of the interior while the car is charging.

The most important functions at a glance:
  • Vehicle information: battery charge level, range, average fuel consumption, mileage, eco score, next service, tire pressure.
  • The vehicle functions departure time and pre-entry climate control: compared with the previous series, two programmable departure times mean that these functions do not always need to be reset for frequent journeys -- for example, a daily commute. The programmed departure time can be used both for intelligent charging and for pre-entry climate control. If the departure time is set the previous evening, the vehicle has a perfect interior temperature the next morning. If the customer wants to spontaneously set the temperature before a trip for a vehicle that is not connected to a charging station this can also be done via the "smart control" app as long as the battery charge level is at least 30%. Under the microscope: Pre-entry climate control
Cozy warmth when you're ready to set off
The "smart control" app can also be used to conveniently set the pre-entry climate control for the interior of the smart electric drive. Energy-intensive climate control is set to pre-departure if possible during the charging time of the high-voltage battery, which has a positive effect on the range.
When the smart electric drive is connected to the charging network, the pre-entry climate control can be activated particularly conveniently with the help of a planned departure time. The planned departure time can be entered via the instrument cluster or the "smart control" app. When the departure time has been entered, the controller becomes active approximately two hours before this time. The pre-entry climate control starts up to an hour before the departure time by determining the time needed for this based on the temperature difference between the inside of the vehicle and the outside temperature. Depending on the difference, the rear window, the seats and the steering wheel are heated, for example, or the interior is cooled. The target temperature is about 70° Fahrenheit.
Spontaneous pre-entry climate control without a pre-programmed departure time is also possible when the vehicle is not connected to the charging network. In this case the pre-entry climate control time is limited to five minutes. The function is conveniently activated via the "smart control" app on a PC, tablet or smartphone. The target temperature for the interior is also 70° Fahrenheit.
The smart electric drive has an energy-efficient air conditioning system. An electric heater booster (high-voltage PTC; Positive Temperature Coefficient) heats the interior while an electrically powered AC compressor cools it.
In ECO mode the outlet air temperature from the air vents is lowered or raised to reduce the energy consumption.
smart family
Electrification of the entire model range
The new smart electric drive makes opting into electric mobility easier than ever as it combines the unique agility of the smart with local emission-free driving - the ideal combination for urban mobility. Zero-emission driving fun can be experienced not only in the smart fortwo and smart fortwo cabrio, but for the first time also in the four-seater smart forfour (not available in the U.S.). In the future, smart will be the only car manufacturer worldwide to offer its model range with both combustion engines and pure battery-electric drive.
Short overhangs, a minimal length and a high steering angle are optimal prerequisites for ensuring that the new smart models get around every corner and into every parking space. The new smart fortwo electric drive (length/width/height: 106.1/65.6/61.2 feet) sets a turning circle benchmark at 22.8 ft. from curb to curb that makes turning maneuvers extremely simple. The characteristic proportions offer outstanding visibility and maneuverability and, together with the rear engine, enable a comfortable amount of space for such compact dimensions.
The new smart generation was introduced in 2014 and is characterized by a one-and-a-half box design - an evolutionary development of the typical smart silhouette. The higher hood lends the smart a more grown-up and sportier character. The color contrast between tridion cell and body panels is another characteristic feature of the smart brand.
The smart displays a friendly but self-assured face. A decisive feature of this friendly face is the signature smart grille with the large logo. The grille's perforated structure results from a honeycomb pattern.
The rhombic front lamps are truncated slightly at the top, producing an attractive sporty look. The U-shaped daytime driving lights add a characteristic design feature.
"Loop" is the designers' name for the emotional sweep that features as a leitmotif in the interior, embellishing the dashboard and doors. The sculptural dashboard itself consists of two sections - a bold and sensuous outer section which can optionally be covered with fabric, and a large, concave inner section incorporating the functional elements.
The dashboard and the door center panels feature extensive fabric coverings. This high-quality textile surface is very pleasant to the touch and is reminiscent of the mesh inserts in modern sports shoes. The color and material concept underscores the easy-going and charming character of the new smart generation.
The essential safety concept embodied so successfully by the preceding models has been retained. Like a nut, the interior is protected from harm by a rigid shell: the tridion safety cell. A high proportion of ultra-high strength hot-formed steels and maximum-strength multiphase steel is now used on the new smarts. In keeping with the Mercedes-Benz "real-life safety" philosophy, the focus on car-to-car crash tests was on compatibility with substantially larger and heavier vehicles. The new smart vehicles performed well in frontal collisions with the S- and C-Class.
The battery of the electric smart is housed centrally under the front seats - ideal for a low center of gravity and balanced handling. It is supported by an all-round, crash-absorbing frame. The frame structure is made of modern high-strength steel tubes that give the battery all-round protection with the profiles used and also absorb and distribute intrusion forces in the event of an accident.
Sound generator: safety in traffic-calmed zones
On account of its quiet drive, the new smart electric drive comes standard with an acoustic warning. The sound generator is a cubic component on the right-hand side behind the radiator grille; it consists of a weatherproof loudspeaker and an integrated controller. It generates a smart-specific sound for the protection of other road users: This sound is speed-dependent. The pitch and volume increase as the vehicle speed increases. Above about 18 mph the sound is automatically masked as rolling noise and wind noise predominate from this speed.
Advanced assistance systems which were previously the reserve of higher classes of vehicle further enhance safety and comfort. These include Crosswind Assist (standard) and the optional forward collision warning.
A front axle design adopting elements from the former Mercedes-Benz C-Class, a De Dion rear axle, long spring travel all round and an unprecedented small turning circle are the highlights of the chassis.
Equipment and features
Maximum scope for individualization
The smart electric drive models surpass the extensive standard equipment of other smart fortwo models with conventional drive as they additionally have a dashboard instrument with power meter and battery status display (standard) or the climate package with heated steering wheel for maximum climate comfort (optionally available). The electric green tridion cell is exclusive to the electric drive, which gives the vehicle an expressive look.
Like all models of the current smart generation, the electric drive versions come with extensive safety and comfort equipment. The standard equipment includes power steering, LED daytime driving lights, central locking with radio remote control, visual locking-verification signal and immobilizer, cruise control, and dashboard-mounted power meter and clock.
In addition, the smart electric drive models have several special features such as the dashboard instrument with power meter and state of charge. It is next to the A-pillar trim on the dashboard. The electric power recuperated is displayed on the left side of the power meter and the electric power currently called up is shown on the right side. LEDs between the segments show the available power and power that can be called up. The battery charge status is displayed in the lower part of the dashboard instrument.
A color 3.5-inch display in TFT technology (Thin-Film Transistor) with a trip computer is available as standard equipment. Additional functions include:
  • Extended display of the charging rate
  • Display of the battery charge level with animated battery icon
  • Detailed specific eco score for the electric vehicle
  • Energy flow display including auxiliary consumers with digital values
  • Setting and display of pre-entry climate control and smart charging in conjunction with entering a departure time.
Electric drive customers who opt for the smart Media-System with a 7-inch color display and touchscreen operation can also look forward to several additional functions:
  • The current range can be considered in the selection of navigation destinations
  • Charging stations can be added as intermediate destinations
  • Navigation to the nearest charging station with the first battery reserve warning
  • Charging station search based on POIs on the SD card
  • Graphic representation of the range on the navi map.
A standard feature on board all smart electric drive models is a cable and rigid cable bag that is open at the back. The cable bag is accommodated in the luggage compartment on the right-hand side in the direction of travel. It is fastened in the luggage compartment with two quick-release fasteners, a retaining strap and Velcro strips and can be removed if necessary. The surface is made of stain-resistant material.
These packages offer even more utility value:
  • Climate package: heated steering wheel, additional door and floor insulation for climate system efficiency - exclusively available on smart electric drive
  • Lighting package: LED daytime running lamps and LED taillamps, fog lights with cornering function
  • smart Media System with JBL Sound System: smart touchscreen media system, JBL sound system
All three lines offer opportunities for differentiation in the pure, passion and prime trim lines are available on the smart electric drive, which provide for visual differentiation, as with the combustion engine models. The most important features at a glance:
  • The base pure trim line offers a choice of black cloth or black man-made leather upholstery, multifunction steering wheel, automatic climate control and dashboard mounted power meter and clock
  • The passion line has a very stylish and modern interior with a choice of color combinations in black/orange, black/white or black/black cloth. It builds upon the pure line with a leather multifunction steering wheel, height adjustable driver's seat, electric and heated side-view mirrors, retractable cargo cover and 15" 8-spoke wheels with black accents
  • The prime line defines itself as an innovative trendsetter with an interior featuring black leather with grey topstitching. Highlights include the panorama sunroof, ambient interior lighting, heated seats and LED daytime running lights and LED taillamps.
Under the microscope: Deutsche ACCUMOTIVE
Energy storage from Saxony
The battery for the new smart electric drive comes from the Daimler subsidiary Deutsche ACCUMOTIVE. Because as well as in-house development and production expertise and the module strategy for alternative drives it is part of Daimler's philosophy to secure direct access to key components for electric mobility. With Deutsche ACCUMOTIVE Daimler has sound expertise in the development and production of highly complex drive batteries.
On a growth path: Daimler is currently investing €500 million in the construction of a second battery factory in Germany and is therefore greatly expanding the production capacities for lithium-ion batteries from Deutsche ACCUMOTIVE GmbH & Co. KG. Deutsche ACCUMOTIVE, founded in 2009, is a 100% subsidiary of Daimler AG with sites in Kirchheim/Nabern (research and development) and Kamenz (production).
The company develops and sells highly complex drive batteries based on lithium-ion technology for hybrid and electric vehicles of the Mercedes-Benz and smart brands. Since the start of series production in 2012 more than 75,000 lithium-ion batteries have been delivered. The Daimler subsidiary employs more than 420 staff - 330 thereof in Kamenz. From 2017 all battery systems for Mercedes-Benz and smart will come from Deutsche ACCUMOTIVE.
In 2015 Daimler entered the new field of business with stationary battery storage, opening up additional growth opportunities outside the automotive industry.
Under the microscope: the smart electric drive in studies
Good marks in surveys
The new smart electric drive is globally the fourth generation of electric mobility for smart. It goes without saying that the experiences of previous users were considered in the development of the new models - with several studies confirming that smart electric drive drivers are extremely happy with their purchase decision.
Buyers of the last generation smart fortwo electric drive expressed above average satisfaction with their vehicle, first and foremost due to its environmentally friendliness (79%), followed by the acceleration (75%) and the quiet drive (75%) according to the results of an internal survey of buyers of new smart cars in 2015. In addition to the advantages of electric drive such as the drive/motor (40%) and low emissions (20%), classic smart strengths such as compact dimensions (31%) and maneuverability (28%) were among the top buying reasons.
In contrast, the Technical University of Dresden examined the everyday practicality of electric vehicles in a study. In November 2015 the two authors, René Pessier and Armin Raupbach, interviewed precisely 685 drivers of electric cars in Europe on topics such as purchase decision-making parameters, driving and usage behavior and charging infrastructure. Here are some of the results:
  • Most respondents use a further vehicle in addition to the electric car, almost half of them (49.7%) a vehicle with conventional drive.
  • In terms of general satisfaction with the vehicle the smart electric drive is above average and ranks fourth out of the nine electric vehicles considered. It therefore leads the line-up of German electric cars.
  • In 2015 there were numerous international incentives to buy electric cars. The respondents give these as an important reason for buying in the countries where buyers benefit from them. In contrast, in Germany in 2015 personal conviction regarding electric mobility was cited as the primary motive for buying a vehicle.
  • Private charging clearly dominates. In Germany only every third driver has access to all kinds of charging infrastructure, although internationally this figure rises to almost every second driver. A wallbox at home is the primary source of charging current. Due to the regular usage, this and charging at the workplace are of decisive importance.
A survey by the digital association Bitkom in 2016 showed great interest in electric cars in Germany. Although German consumers are still reticent about buying them, electric cars could soon change the face of the city. According to the Bitkom survey approximately 7 out of 10 Germans (69 percent) could imagine buying an electric car.
However, a prerequisite for 62 percent of the respondents is that they are able to travel a similar distance with a battery charge as with a conventionally powered vehicle. 47 percent would buy an electric car if it were no more expensive than a comparable car with a petrol or diesel engine. A further prerequisite for 37 percent is that the vehicle has a similar level of comfort to a conventional car - for example as regards spaciousness and equipment.
The basis for the information is a study carried out by Bitkom Research on behalf of the Bitkom digital association. 1010 people aged 18 and over were interviewed including 773 car drivers. The survey is representative. The question asked was: Could you imagine buying an electric vehicle?
The holistic philosophy
Powered by the wind, from the car to the grid
Daimler keeps thinking ahead with electric mobility in innovative projects. For example, used smart electric drive batteries are given a second life outside the vehicle as 2nd use battery storage. A "live replacement parts warehouse" for battery systems from the third smart electric drive generation also serves to compensate fluctuations in the German grid. This efficient double usage improves the life cycle assessment and also the life cycle costs of e-mobility. Four years ago Daimler acquired a wind turbine which is used to test CO2-neutral mobility over the entire life cycle of the last smart electric drive model series in the framework of a pilot project.
The life cycle of an e-vehicle battery needn't end with operation in a car; the batteries can be further used for stationary battery storage. Because with this type of use slight loss of power is not important, which means that cost-effective operation in stationary applications is possible for an estimated additional ten years. The further use of the lithium-ion modules enables their economic use to be virtually doubled.
The world's largest 2nd use battery storage facility is currently being set up in Lünen, Westphalia. Systems from second generation smart electric drive vehicles are bundled in Lünen to create a stationary storage facility with capacity of 13 MWh. A joint venture between the partners Daimler AG, The Mobility House AG and GETEC will start operation of the stationary storage on the site of REMONDIS SE before the end of the year and sell it on the German primary regulation energy market.
Live replacement part store
Battery systems that have not yet been fitted in electric cars but are kept as replacement parts can also find a second use as energy storage systems. Before the end of the year the cooperation partners Deutsche ACCUMOTIVE and enercity (Stadtwerke Hannover AG) will start the construction of a new battery storage facility. The special feature: this is a replacement part store for electric mobility battery systems. Around 3000 of the battery modules kept for the third smart electric drive generation are bundled to create a stationary storage facility at the enercity site in Herrenhausen. With total storage capacity of 15 MWh the facility is one of the largest in Europe. Upon completion the energy storage will be marketed on the German primary regulation energy market (PRL). At the same time thanks to the controlled charge cycle the battery modules remain fresh for possible use as a replacement part in a smart.
The business model thus makes an important contribution to stabilizing the power grid and making electric mobility an economically viable proposition. With increasing fluctuations in electricity feed from renewable energy sources such as wind and sun, such storage units serve to optimally regulate a power frequency that must be kept constant.
Green electricity from a wind turbine
Zero-emission individual mobility - from the well to the wheel - is possible with renewable energies such as sun and wind. In 2012 Daimler AG bought a wind turbine as part of a pilot project in North Bavaria which generates enough electricity to power around 2500 smart electric drives. In this way Daimler and smart are sending a clear signal that CO2-neutral mobility is possible with electric cars.
The wind turbine is currently operated by Primus Energie and is located in the Windpark "Oberland I" (municipality of Helmbrechts) around 150 meters from the A9, the main transport artery between Munich and Berlin. With nominal output of 2.3 megawatts per year the onshore wind energy plant type Enercon E82 generates enough green electricity to run approximately 2,500 smart fortwo electric drives until the end of their life cycle.
The heritage
Powered by electricity since 2007
With the start of the first electrically driven test fleet in 2007 in London, smart also took on a pioneering role in the field of electric mobility. As early as 2005 the company presented the smart electric drive as a one-off vehicle. In 2009 smart launched the second generation of the smart fortwo electric drive, with the model introduced in 18 markets. From June 2012 the third generation of the smart fortwo electric drive also succeeded in winning wide-ranging buyers for its innovative and forward-looking drive concept.
In 2007 a vision that the company had from the very beginning and that was always planned for in the design became a reality: urban mobility with zero local emissions. Still based on the first smart generation, the company started a project with 100 smart electric drives in London. The cars were used by numerous customers, including the London police.
The smart electric drive came with everything that makes a smart a smart - but it didn't have a combustion engine. A 41 hp magnetic motor worked at the rear of the smart fortwo ed which was driven by a constant high-performance, high-temperature battery made from environmentally compatible sodium-nickel-chloride. It was accommodated in the underbody, which meant that the interior space was not compromised. Boasting NEDC consumption of just 12 kilowatt hours per 100 kilometers and zero carbon dioxide emissions, the smart fortwo ed represented the most economical and climate-friendly alternative in urban traffic. When charged, the two-door car could travel around 115 kilometers (EUDC). When the battery was empty, it could be charged at any 230 volt power socket - at least 1,000 times. This means that the battery could last for up to ten years. It took four hours to charge the battery to 80 percent capacity and eight hours to charge it to full capacity.
The acceleration from zero to 60 km/h was at the same level as the petrol version, the maximum speed was 112 km/h. Furthermore, as a zero emission car the smart fortwo ed enjoyed tax advantages in many countries and was exempt from local restrictions such as the London congestion charge. The small electric car therefore offered a combination of agility, economy and environmental compatibility that is unique in this class.
2008: The smart fortwo electric drive entered series production
At the Paris Motor Show in 2008 smart presented the latest smart fortwo series with electric drive to an international audience for the first time. In real-world driving the zero-local-emission smart fortwo electric drive initially demonstrated its advantages in the project "e-mobility Berlin." This underlined the leading role of the young car brand on the way to environmentally friendly, sustainable concepts for individual mobility of the future.
Market launch followed in 2009, the model was launched in 18 markets. The objective was to gather as much experience as possible about how customers use and charge electric vehicles. The huge demand exceeded all expectations. Instead of the planned 1,000 vehicles more than 2,000 smart fortwo electric drives were produced in Hambach.
2012: The third-generation smart fortwo electric drive is launched
12 June 2012 - this date marked the starting signal for the first real alternative to the usual refueling stops. The launch of the new smart fortwo electric drive meant that smart customers could now enjoy even more fun at the wheel of an attractively priced vehicle that had the familiar compact dimensions - as a coupé or a cabriolet. With its 55 kW electric motor the smart fortwo electric drive accelerates from 0 to 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 kilometers in city traffic without producing any local emissions. 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.
Moreover, in 2013 the smart fortwo was the first all-electric vehicle from a European importer in China. In Germany, the electric smart established itself as the market leader among battery-electric vehicles within a very short space of time with a market share of around 40 percent and was able to maintain this position for three years in a row. At times the sales figures for the smart fortwo electric drive in the USA accounted for 25 percent of all smarts sold there. In 2014 and 2015 the "American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy" voted it the "most environment-friendly car in the USA" twice in succession.
The smart electric drive also contributed to the success of the brand as part of the car2go fleet with 1,400 cars in three cities. As car2go vehicles alone, the smart electric drive has covered more than 21 million miles in demanding everyday usage since the launch.