This is the Pininfarina B0 electric city car … and 4000 (four-thousand) of these slick little Smart-slayers will be hitting the roads of Paris as early as 2013.
4000 is quite a number (especially in the green car universe), but this isn't some commonplace vaporware project – although Pininfarina is most famous for designing some of the most achingly beautiful automotive forms of the past 50 years, the company is no stranger to limited automotive production. Indeed, the small Italian firm manufactured 21,000 examples the Cadillac Allante for GM throughout the 1990s, and continues to offer such services to manufacturers around the world. It was, then, only a matter of time before the design firm decided to finally “pull the trigger” on its own car … which is exactly what you see here.
The B0 (that's a “zero”, by the way, not an “o” … it's not the “bee-oh”) is destined to be the vehicle of choice for Autolib, a car sharing/rental initiative that will offer the electric cars throughout Paris.
The B0 itself will be manufactured as a joint-venture project between Pininfarina and Bollore (a company that specializes in “batteries and supercapacitors”), and will be powered by a unique 300 kg lithium-metal-polymer battery that makes use of quick-charging and a scaled-down version of KERS to boost off-the-line performance and push the B0′s operating range to just over 150 miles.
No word, yet, as to whether or not you'll be allowed to buy one of these little cuties for yourself.