Smart ForTwo Electric Drive Review – the EV future?

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In a word – yes! I luckily got to drive the upcoming Electric Smart ForTwo yesterday. It was the first time the car has been bought over to the UK in right hand drive spec. It was massive fun to drive!

When you think of electric cars, you ultimately think slow…..and limited range. The limited range is still an issue, but this little Smart was by no means slow! With a 0-60 time of 11.5 seconds, you might think I’m talking a load of ball-ocks, but as soon as you put your foot down on the accelerator you are pushed back into the seat, and with a futuristic electric hum you start accelerating. The feeling of speed is due to the electric motor developing peak Torque from the off, it has a single speed transmission which puts out 75bhp and 96lb of Torque.

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You can keep a check on current battery levels, and power drain from the two pods on the dash. When normally cruising the battery drain sits at about 50% but when you push the 2 stage throttle even further the little Smart comes alive and the torque kicks in again. Under this acceleration mode the battery drain jumps to 100%, but you can easily accelerate away from 50mph and soon be speeding along with everyone else at 70. I did push the Smart beyond its claimed 78mph top speed…..although at this speed, you would be using 100% battery drain the whole time, not ideal!

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As you can see I was having way too much fun as my “eco” driving was only at 33%!

The car regenerates small amounts of charge through braking; it must only recover a tiny amount of energy, but with a 90 mile range under normal (ec0 green) driving it would be perfect for a city commuter car. You could easily go to and from work in a city and still have, enough charge to go out and do the shopping in the evening.

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The Smart comes with all the home comforts of a normal car including Sat Nav, in the half hour or so I was out driving I managed to drain the battery 30% which wasn’t bad I guess; but it made me feel guilty enough to bring it back in case it ran out juice before anyone else could drive it! The recharge time from empty is 7 hours from a standard mains socket, but a fast top up recharge can be completed in around an hour.

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Cost is set to be around £15,300, however with the government grant of £5000 it brings the cost of this little green machine down to a respectable 10k; making the Smart Electric Drive the cheapest all electric car on sale in the UK. If pricing turns out to be this good, I am sure you will see lots of Electric Drive’s in towns and cities across the country! One thing to bear in mind though is the alleged £52 a month battery lease, no current info has been set out on how this will work when it comes to reselling the car.

Carwitter Summary:

Smart ForTwo Electric Drive – Spritely, fun, low cost, green, silent, the future?

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