September 4, 2008 In a carefully choreographed move, the one millionth smart fortwo rolled off the production line at the plant in Hambach, France to coincide exactly with the tenth birthday of the iconic ultr-compact. Quite appropriately, the millionth vehicle was a micro hybrid drive (mhd) in the passion equipment line. On the occasion of the production anniversary and the tenth birthday of the smart brand, Daimler presented the new smart electric drive. In Hambach Dr. Dieter Zetsche, President and CEO of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars said "The smart electric drive makes zero emission driving in an urban environment a reality."
The anniversary vehicle, which celebrates the tenth birthday of the Hambach plant and is the one millionth fortwo, rolled off the production line as an mhd passion with a 52 kW/71 bhp engine in the colour silver metallic. The car will be donated to charity. Dr. Dieter Zetsche, President and CEO of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, congratulated the team at the Hambach plant on their work. "The continuing rising demand shows the success and the potential of the smart fortwo from Hambach. This year we have already sold 90,000 cars, more than 16,000 of them in the USA. From mid 2009 the smart will also become a familiar sight on Chinese roads."
The smart fortwo electric drive
The new smart fortwo electric drive offers the brand additional growth opportunities: "From the end of 2009 we will produce a small series of the smart fortwo electric drive with a lithium-ion battery", Dr. Dieter Zetsche said. The predecessor of the smart fortwo electric drive, the smart fortwo ev (electric vehicle), celebrated its world premiere in 2006. Since 2007 a fleet with a total of 100 smart fortwo electric drives of the first generation has been tested in everyday service in London. With the new smart fortwo generation the smart with electric drive is also being reengineered. Whereas the first generation of the smart fortwo electric drive is equipped with a sodium-nickel-chloride battery, the second generation will be fitted with a lithium-ion battery. This battery combines higher performance with a long life and high reliability.