Stuttgart, Germany – Smart has announced that it will start production of the Smart Fortwo Electric Drive at the end of 2009, and is exploring opportunities to bring the car to the U.S. market.

The Smart Fortwo Electric Drive series will be equipped with a lithium-ion battery, due to its compact dimensions, high performance, and shorter charging times with higher reliability.

Smart began a project pilot in London, England in 2007, when it leased 100 electric versions of the former series to gain real-world experience and determine the technology’s long-term sustainability. The project proved successful, with English authorities exempting drivers from the expensive London congestion charge. In 2008, with the support of the German government and the state of Berlin, Daimler AG and energy provider RWE introduced the “e-mobility Berlin” project, with RWE providing 500 electricity charging stations, and Daimler contributing 100 electric vehicles. Both companies aim to create an intelligent system, with first  joint tests scheduled for the spring of 2009.

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