Cute, "Smart" and Cleaner



If you live in a urban setting, chances are you've already seen the super cute (and very easy to park) "Smart fortwo" zipping around city streets.

Now, Tesla Motors says their company is now developing an electric version of the Smart "microcar" with Daimler AG, and plans to initially produce 1,000 of the vehicles -- with plans to expand to tens of thousands of vehicles per year, if successful in the U.S. market.

The Calif.-based electric carmaker has been working with Daimler since late 2007 to produce the vehicles for lease customers. Tesla will produce the battery pack and charger for the Smart electric car.

Daimler brought its Smart fortwo to the U.S. last year just in time for gas prices to peak, and it sold more than 24,000 of them. The eye-catching two-seaters are less than 9 feet long with a three-cylinder engine that gets the car 41 mpg on the highway.

The gas-powered "fortwo" has a starting price of $12,000, but they have not disclosed how much the electric version would cost, or when it will be available, or how far it could go on a full charge.

Tesla, which started in 2004, showed its $109,000 all-electric two-seat Roadster sports car at the Detroit show. The company hopes to unveil its five-passenger Model S luxury electric car in late February, with a price tag of $57,400.

Photo: Getty Images

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