Daimler’s Smart subsidiary has postponed the launch of the ForTwo electric for September 2012, three months later than originally planned.
A Daimler spokeswoman confirmed the change of plans. “This involves a delay of just three months. Deliveries would have only begun in June anyway,” she was quoted as saying by Automotive News Europe.
She added the reason for the delay is related to battery cell supplier Li-Tec, which encountered unspecified problemnt in the manufacturing process as mass production started. “There are no technical or quality problems with the batteries. But we don’t want to lower our sights in safeguarding quality. That’s why we’re accepting a delay,” Daimler’s spokeswoman said.
The production version of the electric ForTwo will use batteries from Deutsche Accumotive, a joint venture between Daimler and German supplier Evonic. Li-Tec, the subsupplier of the battery cells, is a separate joint venture between Evonic and Daimler.
On September 13 2011 Daimler said the third generation electric Smart would be available in more than 30 markets worldwide, starting in spring 2012. The first test fleet was launched in London in 2007, with 2,000 units of the second generation model having been built since 2009. The electric ForTwo is the brand’s most important product launch for 2012.