2010 Paris Auto ShowJust the Facts:
- Smart releases sketches of its plug-in electric two-wheeler.
- The scooter will be unveiled at the 2010 Paris Auto Show.
- Smart's scooter is expected to have a range of 60 miles.
PARIS — In an effort to expand its product line — and perhaps reverse its sagging fortunes — Daimler AG's Smart brand plans to unveil a battery-powered two-wheeler at the 2010 Paris Auto Show.
As with the two-wheeler planned by BMW's Mini subsidiary, the Smart scooter concept is said to be powered by lithium-ion batteries, with a range of about 60 miles between charges.
Smart released several sketches but no details on the scooter concept.
A story in Britain's Autocar said the plug-in scooter "is being developed as part of a new broad-based mobility strategy" at Smart, which continues to struggle in North America as well as Europe.
Autocar said the Smart scooter "could be produced in a number of different factories around the world, including existing plants in China, India and Thailand, if a production go-ahead is granted."
Italy's Quattroruote reported that, at a meeting of Smart owners last month in Germany, the brand held a "naming contest" for the electric scooter, prompting such entries as Smartronic, Smart Ego, Trotti, e135 Smart and Move-e.
Edmunds.com says: Not many people know that the German automaker's namesake, Gottlieb Daimler, is often credited as the father of the motorcycle, having tested his early single-cylinder gasoline engine — jointly developed with Wilhelm Maybach — in a two-wheeler in 1885. — Paul Lienert, Correspondent