smart electric drive.automotiveIT

The smart plant in Hambach, France, was upgraded for the production start of the new electric models (Photo: Daimler)

The first electrically propelled smart cars rolled off the production line in Hambach, France, this month, marking an important step in Daimler's moves to build more models with non-traditional engines.

"The new smart electric drive and the expansion of the Hambach plant are two important milestones for the future of smart," said Annette Winkler, head of the of the brand.

Daimler has invested more than 200 million euros in the Hambach plant, where all smart models are built. The largest individual expense was for a new 50 million euro paint shop.

Winkler said in a press release that the electric smart will strengthen the Daimler group's product offering in a market that is expected to see a rise in demand for small city cars.

"With the new smart electric drive we are further expanding our leading position in urban mobility," she said.

The basic smart electric drive goes on sale in Germany for 18,910 euros plus a monthly battery rental charge of 65 euros. Including the battery, electric smarts cost 23,680 euros.

The small car has a range of about 145 km in city traffic and accelerates from 0 to 60 km/hour in 4.8 seconds. It has a maximum speed of 125 km/h.