Coventry City Council takes delivery of an early Christmas present this year, in the form of a fully electric smart. The iconic car is the first of 100 cars to be delivered as part of a UK-based market trial for the introduction of a fully electric version of the popular two-seater (smart ed). The car will be made available on a lease arrangement to selected UK corporate customers. It sets a new benchmark in the electric vehicle sector; it has 30kW output and a top speed of 60 mph. It offers nippy in-town performance with 0-30 mph in 6.5 seconds. With a range of up to 70 miles, the smart ed is exempt from vehicle excise duty and congestion charge.

Coventry City Council will be using the electric smart within their fleet of pool vehicles. This facility allows employees to leave their cars at home when they travel to work, but to still have access to a vehicle for business journeys.

Dermot Kelly, Managing Director Mercedes-Benz Cars, said: “This market trial is an important part of our commitment to sustainable mobility and the first car to be delivered is a significant milestone for smart and Mercedes-Benz Cars.”

Cllr Gary Ridley, Cabinet member for Climate Change, Housing and Sustainability said, "The Council is proud to be the first owner of the new electric smart and is glad to be part of the drive for new cleaner and greener technologies in cars. To make its running costs even greener, the electricity used to recharge the car is from renewable resources. As the biggest employer in the city, we should be leading by example and encouraging other businesses to think about their carbon footprint and their impact on their environment while carrying out their day to day activities."

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 other electric cars, a smart ed has ESP, ABS brakes two airbags and seatbelt pre-tensioners.

In terms of practicality, the car has its own charger on board, which means it can be plugged directly into any UK mains 3 pin plug socket to recharge. A meter on the dash swivels through 90 degrees so it is possible to see the state of battery charge.

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