December 20, 2009
Electric Drive: First Electric 'smart fortwo' Handed Over to Customers in Berlin
The first smart fortwo electric drive vehicles were handed over to customers in Berlin on December 17.
• The compact two-seater is the first emission-free vehicle in the world with state-of-the-art lithium-ion technology and an intelligent charging management system on board. This makes the smart fortwo electric drive the first environmentally and customer-friendly electric vehicle.
The very first drivers of the electric smart will be Rolf Bauer (artist and owner of a film dubbing studio) and Lutz Tamaschke (owner of a dental technology company). "I've always been a fan of smart and am proud to be able to set a new trend once again by driving the electric smart. Thanks to the smart fortwo electric drive, I can make my own contribution to preserving the environment," commented Rolf Bauer.
With the smart fortwo electric drive, these two men now own a vehicle that is suited to urban mobility and offers driving pleasure, while being locally emission-free at the same time. "I allow myself and my car a rest for the night, so that we can both recharge our batteries. After a few hours sleep, we're both good to go," said Lutz Tamaschke.
The first two vehicles were handed over on December 17 in Berlin by Dr. Thomas Weber, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development, and Harald Schuff, Executive Vice President Mercedes-Benz Sales and Marketing Organization.
"Environmental compatibility and latest functionalities have been defining features of the smart fortwo ever since it was launched more than ten years ago. Since then, its innovative concept has combined pioneering technology with individual, urban mobility. The smart fortwo electric drive is just as convincing as its siblings with conventional drive when it comes to suitability for everyday use, safety and driving pleasure. In terms of environmental compatibility it sets a new benchmark with its emission-free electric drive. In addition, with just 12 kwH consumption and its purely electric drive system, it is the most economical and environmentally-friendly way of driving," stated Dr. Thomas Weber.
The electric smart will be delivered to selected fleet, business and private customers around the world as part of various "e-mobility" projects. These customers will receive a complete service package for their vehicle. "Beside state-of-the-art vehicle technology, we also want to provide our customers the best service possible - for us, this is an integral part of the concept of groundbreaking mobility," commented Harald Schuff.
• Key objective of these projects is to evaluate customer behavior and specific support services. In addition to Germany, the electric smart will also be made available to customers in Italy, Spain, England, France, Switzerland, as well as the USA and Canada.
A 30 kW electric motor operates in the rear of the smart fortwo electric drive, which ensures good acceleration as soon as the car is started. When fully charged, the highly-efficient lithium-ion battery guarantees a range of 135 kilometers. In order to charge the battery if required, the smart can either be hooked up to a public charging station, a wall box in the garage or simply to any standard household socket.
The smart fortwo electric drive is equipped with an intelligent charging management system. The on-board electronics allow for the permanent exchange of information with the grid. As such, electricity billing, for example, can be arranged in a very convenient, simple and secure way. Irrespective of where and from whom the smart fortwo electric drive has obtained electricity, the customer will only receive one electricity bill from his own energy supplier. By using a smartphone or other internet interfaces, he can also check the charging status and the current range of his electric smart in any place and at any time.
• With the smart fortwo electric drive, smart is continuing its success story as the founder of the intelligent city vehicle. The new electric smart has redefined urban mobility by focusing on a purely emission-free way of driving.
• Hybrid/Plug-In/Electric Battery Development for Detroit.
The United States Advanced Battery Consortium LLC (USABC) is seeking Requests For Proposal information (RFPIs) for four projects related to advanced battery development for hybrid electric, plug-in hybrid electric and electric vehicles.
USABC (United States Advanced Battery Consortium) is a consortium of USCAR (United States Council for Automotive Research). Enabled by a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy, USABC's mission is to develop electrochemical energy storage technologies that support commercialization of fuel cell, hybrid and electric vehicles.
USABC's four RFPIs, for consideration of contracts that will include a 50 percent minimum cost share by developers, are for:
1. Development of advanced high performance batteries for electric vehicle (EV) applications;
2. Development of advanced energy storage systems for high-power, lower energy-energy storage system (LEESS) for power-assist hybrid electric vehicle (PAHEV) applications;
3. Development of advanced high-performance batteries for plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) applications; and
4. A technology assessment of proposed advanced battery technologies for EV applications.
--- Statement issued on December 23, 2009 by USCAR (United States Council for Automotive Research). [USCAR is the collaborative automotive technology organization for Chrysler Group LLC, Ford Motor Company and General Motors Company.]
GM Announces Battery Assembly Production:
"On Thursday, January 7, 2010, exactly three years to the day the Chevrolet Volt concept car was revealed, General Motors takes another historic step in mass production of the vehicle and a giant leap for the auto industry from a petroleum-filled past to a potentially gas-free future.
At 10:00 a.m., GM Chairman and CEO Ed Whitacre, along with Gov. Jennifer Granholm, U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, leading government officials and honored guests will witness the start of battery production at the GM Brownstown Battery Assembly Plant. The plant, located in Brownstown Township, Michigan, is the first lithium ion battery pack manufacturing plant in the U.S. operated by a major automaker."
-- General Motors (January 5, 2010).
Batteries for Electric Cars: Challenges, Opportunities, and the Outlook to 2020. (New Study by The Boston Consulting Group).
"For years, people have been saying that one of the keys to reducing our dependency on fossil fuels is the electrification of the vehicle fleet. The reality is, electric-car batteries are both too expensive and too technologically limited for this to happen in the foreseeable future..."
"Although electric-car battery costs are expected to fall sharply over the coming decade, they are unlikely to drop enough to spark widespread adoption of fully electric vehicles without a major breakthrough in battery technology..."
"The long-term cost target used by many carmakers in planning their future fleets of electric cars--$250 per kilowatt-hour (kWh)--is unlikely to be achieved unless there is a major breakthrough in battery chemistry that substantially increases the energy a battery can store without significantly increasing the cost of either battery materials or the manufacturing process..."
(Despite this cost challenge, the report projects steady growth for electric cars and batteries.)
"Under the most likely scenario of the industry's evolution, it is estimated that 26 percent of the new cars sold in 2020 in the major developed markets (China, Japan, the United States, and Western Europe)--or approximately 14 million cars--will have electric or hybrid power trains. That same year, the market for electric-car batteries in those regions will reach $25 billion..."
"This burgeoning market will be about triple the size of today's entire lithium-ion-battery market for consumer applications such as laptop computers and cell phones..."
"Beyond costs, other key challenges facing the electric-car battery market are energy storage capacity, charging time, and infrastructure needs..."
(Of the roughly 14 million electric cars forecast to be sold in 2020 in China, Japan, the United States, and Western Europe, the report projects that some 1.5 million will be fully electric, 1.5 million will be range extenders, and 11 million will be a mix of hybrids.)
--- The Boston Consulting Group. (The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a global management consulting firm and is an advisor on business strategy. Founded in 1963, BCG is a private company with 67 offices in 39 countries.)