When it comes to cars that are fully electric, the Tesla Roadster and Nissan Leaf seem to grab all the attention, but there are a handful of other zero-emission cars manufactured by major automakers.

One of these is the Smart ForTwo Electric Drive, which soldiers on into the 2012 model year in third generation form and is pegged for an appearance next month at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show.

The tiny electric car’s maker has tried to address many of the criticisms of the outgoing model, namely, its sluggish acceleration and low top speed, not to mention, poor range and expensive pricetag.

Key among the changes are a new battery and electric drive system, supplied by Deutsche Accumotive and Bosch, respectively.

Peak output now rises to 74 horsepower, up from just 40 horsepower before, which sees the 0-60 mph figure drop below 13 seconds and top speed reaching in excess of 75 mph. The new 17.6 kWh battery also increases range to about 86 miles.

For more details on the 2012 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive, head over to our sister site GreenCarReports for an extensive report.

And for our full coverage of the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show, which kicks off on September 13, click here.