Smart ED (electric drive) on the road in the U.K.

Smart ED (electric drive) on the road in the U.K.

Building hundreds of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at its dealerships across the UK is Mercedes-Benz’s (and Smart’s) way of welcoming a new era of motoring. Expecting a rapid roll-out of plug-in hybrid and EVs in coming years, the automaker is rapidly preparing to build a welcoming environment for electric-only driving.

The charging stations are being supplied by British Elektromotive and already 20 units have been delivered to seven different dealerships comprising both the Mercedes-Benz and Smart brands. The aim is to make the transition from gasoline or diesel powered cars to electrics as seamless as possible for potential buyers. Range anxiety remains one of the biggest hurdles to the successful roll-out of EVs and Mercedes-Benz is doing its part to overcome this issue.

As you may recall, the Smart brand is preparing to launch electric versions of its ForTwo minicars. Dubbed the Smart ForTwo Electric Drive, the zero-emissions urban commuters are already conducting trials around the globe and are expected to be on sale in production trim by 2012.

Currently, the charging stations are only being introduced in the UK but you can bet that a similar strategy will eventually take place at a Mercedes-Benz or Smart dealership near you.