[reposted from smart USA news #13, march 2008, used by permission]
Everyone knows that the smart fortwo is an incredibly environmentally friendly vehicle.
But did you know HOW friendly?
A smart is about half the length of the average vehicle sold in the USA, so it saves about eight feet in length. If every vehicle sold in the USA (let’s use 16 million per year) was as smartly designed as the fortwo, this would free up 24,242 miles of roadway (which is just shy of the circumference of the earth)!
Here are other great facts about the “greenness” of smart.
People know smart is different just by driving by the smartville Production Center in Hambach, France, nestled in the green hills of the Lorraine region.
The architects specified exterior surfaces to be made with a material named Trespa, 80% of which comes from fast growing European timber. They have eliminated materials like formaldehyde, CFC and asbestos, and analyzed and increased the thermal insulation of the buildings to minimize heat loss.
They also collect the excess heat generated from the injection molding machines to heat the paint ovens. All the metal body stampings of smart are powder coated rather than painted. Powder coating uses 40% less energy than conventional painting methods, with zero solvent emissions and no water consumption. Powder ‘overspray’ is collected and is 98% reusable. This is a great example of eco-friendly solutions that also provide excellent finish quality.
To further promote a green working environment, smartville utilizes ‘just in time’ production with all major suppliers integrated directly into the smart plant infrastructure. This integration reduces waste in both transporting and shipping materials to the plant, and smart ensures that the same environmentally friendly building processes apply to all supplier edifices.
Beginning with the end in mind
At smart, effective recycling doesn’t happen after a car is used and ready for disposal – it begins with the initial design concept and fits every component into a known “lifecycle.” So, smart analyzed alternatives and chose 100% recyclable synthetics for fortwo’s dashboards and wheel housing covers.
smart also determined methods to minimize the number of components used to assemble specific vehicle systems, further reducing energy and material waste during production. Examples include our dashboard air-ventilation system that was reduced from twenty separate pieces to one single molded part. Even our exterior door panels can be easily changed and recycled.
smart Mission: A fully closed production cycle
Recycled materials, as well as raw materials that can be reproduced, are used in the manufacturing process of every smart fortwo. Additionally, smart bans usage of poisonous metals, such as lead and cadmium, in any area of smart fortwo’s manufacturing process. Net result: Up to 95% of every smart is suitable for recycling. Not ones to rest on our laurels, the engineers at smart are targeting 100% recyclability – what is known in the industry as a fully “closed” production circle- the ultimate goal of ecological sustainability.
smart and the EPA
The EPA has certified all models of the 2008 smart fortwo as Tier II, Bin 5 standard, which meets the federal requirements for a fleet’s average emissions.
Similarly, the vehicle is rated an Ultra-Low Emissions Vehicle (ULEV) by the California Air Resources Board. A ULEV is a vehicle that has been verified to emit 50% less polluting emissions than the average for new cars released in that model year.
The EPA, through their automatic internal process has recognized and listed the smart fortwo on their Green Vehicle Guide website as a “SmartWay” vehicle. The “SmartWay” designation is earned by those vehicles that score 6 or better on each of the Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gas Scores and achieve a combined score of at least 13. Each smart fortwo model has a combined rating of 16.
“SmartWay” vehicles are also good environmental performers. The smart fortwo has received an EPA Greenhouse Gas rating of 9 out of 10 (best rating is 10), and an Air Pollutant rating of 7 out of 10. The Greenhouse Gas rating of 9 puts the smart fortwo just short of a Hybrid status.
There are some [US] states that offer certain tax incentives to people that purchase environmentally friendly vehicles. Please contact your local dealer for more information.
You can read more about the smart car and its green accolades from my website.