Aston University and leading support services provider, Amey, will both take delivery of a smart ed (electric drive), as part of the UK-exclusive market trial of smart's fully electric, iconic, two seater car.
smart is working with around 60 business partners and green energy suppliers to test the car in 'real-life' situations, in advance of the market launch in 2010. The trial offers an alternative transport solution for businesses to help them tackle environmental concerns.
In the Midlands, both Aston University and Amey are taking part in the trial, demonstrating their commitment towards sustainable motoring. They will be using the smart ed to promote the future of driving, cut their carbon emissions and reduce fleet running costs.
Dermot Kelly, Managing Director Mercedes-Benz UK, handed over the cars to Professor Julia King, Vice Chancellor at Aston University and Keith Sexton of Amey.
Professor Julia King comments, "I believe electric vehicles and car-share schemes are a fantastic opportunity to reduce congestion, noise and pollution from our streets and the smart ed is leading the way in alternative transport. Electric vehicles are one major way in which we can begin to use advances in current technology to help reduce the UK's greenhouse emissions. I shall look forward to using the car, which forms part of Aston's Transport Action Plan to promote alternative and environmentally friendly travel. At this difficult time for the car industry in the West Midlands it is a particular pleasure to be taking delivery of a vehicle in which the innovative battery management and drive train technology comes from a local company, Zytek, based in Lichfield."
Mel Ewell, Chief Executive Officer of Amey adds, "As a major fleet owner and operator for councils and businesses we are always looking for new and innovative ways to minimise our own carbon footprint and help our customers to do the same. This year we are revising our company car policy to include greener options, and the smart ed has the potential to significantly reduce carbon emissions and running costs."
Dermot Kelly, Managing Director Mercedes-Benz UK, comments: "The smart ed market trial is an important part of our commitment towards developing sustainable transport solutions across the Mercedes Benz business. smart continues to be a pioneer in the world of environmentally friendly and economical driving and we're delighted that Aston University and Amey are our partners in the trial as we move towards the future of driving."
The smart ed emits no carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, unburned hydrocarbons, particulate matter or any harmful substance - in fact it emits nothing at all. It retains all the safety equipment you would find on a regular smart, so unlike many other electric vehicles, a smart ed has ESP (traction control), ABS brakes, driver and passenger airbags and seat belt pre-tensioners. The iconic two seater cars have a top speed of 60mph (electronically limited), a range of 70 miles on a single charge and can achieve the equivalent of 300 mpg. The smart ed is charged by simply plugging it directly into any UK mains 3 pin plug socket, and a meter on the dash swivels through 90 degrees making it possible to see the state of battery charge.
The smart range of petrol cars starts from £6,912.44 on-the-road and is available through the Mercedes Benz Retail network.Published 16 January 2009