From November 2006 the Smart Fortwo will also be available with electric drive. As part of a pilot project, in Great Britain around 100 smart fortwo evs will be delivered to selected British customers as lease vehicles. The smart fortwo ev (electric vehicle) will celebrate its world premiere at the British International Motor Show (July 18th - 30th 2006) in London.
The vehicle will be driven by an electric motor with a power output of 30 kW / 41 bhp. The running costs per kilometre are considerably lower than those of a petrol-driven smart fortwo. And that’s saying something. While the smart fortwo, with fuel consumption costing approx. EUR 0.06 per kilometre, is already well ahead of its competitors, the smart fortwo with electric drive costs a mere EUR 0.02 per kilometre to run. Furthermore, the smart fortwo ev is exempt from the central London congestion charge.
At its best on short journeys in urban traffic
The Smart Fortwo ev’s driving performance is not to be sniffed at: it can accelerate from zero to 60 km/h in much the same time as its petrol-driven counterpart. It has a maximum speed of 74 mph and economical consumption. 12 kilowatt hours per 100 kilometres gives it a range of 110 kilometres. These figures indicate that the smart fortwo ev is a vehicle that is ideal for short journeys in urban traffic.
It only takes three and a half hours to charge the battery from 30 to 80 percent of its capacity. An empty battery can be fully charged in no more than eight hours, for example overnight. The charging socket for the power cable is located underneath the filler cap, where the filler neck for diesel or petrol would be in other vehicles.
One forward and one reverse gear
No complex modifications are needed to fit the electric drive. The motor is located in the rear, exactly where the combustion engine would be in a conventional vehicle. The transmission, which has been locked in second gear, is likewise in the rear of the car. The smart fortwo ev therefore does not need the smart fortwo’s gearshift knob, since it only uses one forward and one reverse gear.
The charge level indicator for the battery is where the rev counter would be in other vehicles in a central position on the instrument panel, together with the analogue clock. But that’s all that has changed. The interior and the luggage compartment are just as spacious as before, and even the smart fortwo ev’s power storage unit – a zebra or a sodium-nickel chloride battery is positioned centrally in the car’s underbody.
Expertise in alternative drives
Smart has already demonstrated its technological expertise in building alternative drives at the IAA 2005. The smart crosstown show car was fitted with a hybrid drive combining a petrol engine and an electric motor. Shortly after this smart presented several alternative drives at a technology forum and, in addition to a prototype of the smart fortwo ev, a smart fortwo with natural gas drive, a mild hybrid and a cdi hybrid were exhibited.