Ever since we first laid eyes on the aptly-named Smart Car, we were in love. But why was the $14,000 Smart fortwo from Mercedes maker Daimler equipped with just a 1-liter 71HP internal combustion engine? With gas pushing $5 a gallon, that didn’t seem so smart. Now Daimler’s CEO Dieter Zetsche says the car will ship with an electric motor in 2010.
The company hasn’t decided whether it will manufacture the electric motors itself, but is reportedly talking with those forward-thinking Israelis from Project Better Place, who are thinking about renting batteries for their Renault electric cars, supported by a network of exchange stations for swapping out the spent batteries for freshly charged ones.
Now it’s time for other tiny car makers such as Toyota with its iQ to drop electric motors inside their upcoming minicars to compete against the larger Chevy Volt, all helping us all to abandon old-fashioned fossil fuels once and for all. When it comes to electric cars, we’ve seen the future, and it’s making us sing the body electric.