Smart For-Us and eBike Concept NAIAS 2012

Mercedes says: “With a wink and a smile, the Smart “For-Us” turns the automotive world upside down once again, challenging ideas about what today’s urban pickup might look like.”

Spec Sheet: all-electric power. 55-kilowatt magneto electric motor taken from the upcoming 3d generation Fortwo electric drive model. The battery pack provides 17.6 kilowatt-hours of electric power and can be recharged from 20 to 80 percent in only 3½ hours, and a full charge takes no more than eight hours.

The For-Us pickup concept was something we did not expect in Detroit. Smart CEO Dr. Annette Winkler said, “We at Smart love pickups – if they are small on the outside, large on the inside, very safe and extremely comfortable". I had no idea Smart was so in love with an American institution like the pick-up. The For-Us is about three feet (0.6m) longer than the Fortwo which makes it about the size of a Mini. The eco-friendly pickup was shown with range-extending eBikes in the bed that charge while they are parked. This could be just the thing for those people with range-envy, sort of like a lifeboat on a yacht. The Smart eBike is actually a hybrid – as soon as the rider begins to pedal, a Bionx rear-wheel hub motor begins to help out. Pedal power is transmitted to the rear wheel by a quiet, durable belt drive, while a three-speed gear hub provides simple gear changes. The motor has a range of 60 miles bringing the total range to about 160 miles. In truth, the eBikes are not intended so much as range extenders, but to take the occupants to those places the For-Us cannot, like parks and trails.