Could the new electric Smart be the perfect urban companion?

The new smart electric drive models combine the agility of a smart with emission-free driving which could be an ideal combination for urban mobility. This is the fourth-generation electric smart, which is now available in all three bodystyles – including, for the first time, the smart forfour.

This makes smart the only car manufacturer worldwide to offer its model range with both combustion engines and pure battery-electric drive. The smart electric drive will celebrate its world premiere at the Paris Motor Show (1 to 16 October 2016), while the market launch will start in the USA in December 2016 and in Europe in early 2017. The smart electric drive will go on sale early 2017, and first cars will arrive in the UK from September 2017.

Annette Winkler, Head of smart commented:

“The smart is the perfect city car, and with electric drive it becomes a little bit more perfect,” “This is why we will soon be offering our entire range – smart fortwo, smart cabrio and even our smart forfour – as all-electric versions. Together with lots of smart fans and enthusiastic drivers of the three predecessor generations, we are looking forward to the unique driving fun offered by the new smart electric drive. And at very attractive prices, especially in countries where there is a buyer’s premium.”

In line with the rest of the range, the smart’s driving characteristics are as agile and lively as ever. The ultra-small turning circle of 6.95 metres contributes to this. The smart electric drive will come with a wide variety of colours and optional equipment – making it easy for the customer to personalise their smart electric drive.
Charging time is an important factor for electric vehicle customers and the new smart electric drive boasts major improvements here. All models have a new, powerful on-board charger as standard. In the USA and Great Britain the charging time is 2.5 hours – half as long as for its predecessor.

In Germany, where a different charger is needed due to single-phase alternating current, the smart electric drive can be charged 40 percent faster than before at a household socket. With the “smart control” app the charging process can be conveniently monitored remotely, the app also includes many more functions such as intelligent charging..

From 2017 a 22 kW fast charger will be available as an option. This enables the 17.6 kWh battery pack to be charged in as little as 45 minutes.

A 60 kW (81 hp) electric motor works at the rear of the smart electric drive and transmits its power via a constant ratio to the wheels with 160 Nm of torque available from a standstill. The electric drive has a range of approximately 160 km (100 miles) – ideal for emission-free mobility in and around cities. The maximum speed is electronically limited to 130 km/h (80 mph) to maximise the range.

Radar based regen

As well as the basic transmission mode the driver can select ECO mode. This is designed for a particularly efficient driving style. In addition, the maximum speed is limited, the accelerator pedal curve adjusted and the maximum recuperation level is pre-selected. The radar-based energy recuperation, which is active in the basic transmission mode, monitors the current traffic situation with a radar sensor and a recuperation level that suits the current situation is selected.

To save energy and extend the range, the smart electric drive also features pre-entry climate control. For example, this enables the desired temperature to be reached in the interior while the vehicle is still charging at a socket.  With the “smart control” app lots of electric drive information can be accessed via smartphone, tablet or PC and functions such as pre-entry climate control or intelligent charging can be conveniently controlled remotely.

The smart electric drive models come with additional dashboard instruments which show a power meter and battery status display or, on request, the winter package with heated steering wheel (exact UK specification to be confirmed).

The electric drive design package (optionally available) gives the vehicle an expressive look with tridion safety cell and door mirror caps painted in exclusive electric green.

With eye-catching design details in electric green the special model smart electric drive greenflash is an exciting highlight for the market launch. This special smart electric drive will be available as a coupé and a cabrio with prices starting from €27,839 [UK details to be confirmed].

After the world premiere in Paris, the new smart fortwo electric drive will be launched in the USA before the end of the year, where around 25 percent of all smarts sold had the battery-electric drive. This will be followed by market launch in Europe in early 2017.

The Founder of driveEV. A driving and new technology fan enjoying learning all about the future of motoring. I drive a BMW i3.