A new generation of battery-powered Smart cars would be fitted with a lithium-ion battery next year with a pilot test in London possibly being extended to Los Angeles, the dpa reported, according to Germany's auto-motor-sport magazine reports.
"We will fit the new generation with lithium-ion batteries and if the tests are positive we could soon make a decision on serial production," the magazine quoted Smart CEO Anders Jensen as saying.
The Smart micro-car was predestined for alternative drive. "We need not design a new car for this type of drive system," Jensen said.
The pilot test currently being conducted with Smart cars in London could be extended to Los Angeles because " California is undoubtedly our most important market and we will obviously sell most cars in the Los Angeles area," Jensen said.
So far some 30,000 orders have been placed in the U.S. for the Smart Fortwo.
Smart launched a large-scale field test involving 100 Smart Fortwo electric drive vehicles in London last year. The current model is fitted with a sodium-nickel-chloride battery which is fitted underneath the car floor. It has a range of around 115 kilometres on one electric charge.