Friday, July 22, 2011

Smart electric set to plug in next summer

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By Steve MacNaull The Canadian Press - Thu, Jul 21

KELOWNA, B.C. — Dana Sleigh pushes the pedal to the metal on the Smart electric car and gets only silent acceleration.

"I knew that’s what’s supposed to happen," said Sleigh during a recent test drive of the 100 per cent electric vehicle.

"But it’s still a bit unexpected because when you accelerate you expect all the revving and accompanying noise. I love the quiet of this car."

Sleigh of Kelowna test drove the Smart ED (electric drive) when the Smart Plugged In Tour promoting the vehicles came to the local Mercedes-Benz dealership recently. Mercedes-Benz is the maker of both the regular Smart and electric Smart cars and the vehicles are sold through their dealerships.

While the electric Smart car won’t start to be sold to the public until summer 2012, the tour is meant to bump up awareness and excitement about the brand.

Smart has an advantage in the electric car race because its gas and diesel models have already been on the market for years and people are familiar with the distinctive snub-nosed shape of the cute littletwo-seaters.

That will come in handy when the electric car market explodes next year with not only Smart coming on stream, but also the Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi Miev.

Read more here.

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