The smart fortwo electric drive is now available to buy for the first time and prices start from £12,275, after the government’s Plug-in Car Grant of £3,993.
This makes the smart fortwo electric drive the cheapest electric car that you can buy. You can choose to buy the car and the battery, or to buy the car and lease the battery for £55 per month.
The fortwo electric drive is available as a ‘coupe’ or ‘cabrio’.
The car can be plugged into a standard household socket or public charging bay and can be charged from flat to full in seven hours.
An optional 22kW onboard charger for £2,650 means it’s possible to fully charge a completely empty battery in just one hour at a public quick-charging station.
The new version of the two-seater smart fortwo electric drive is based on the passion model line and includes improved acceleration above 35 mph, a top speed of 78mph and a range of up to 90 miles.
The new smart fortwo electric drive features equipment such as satellite navigation; air conditioning with pre-conditioning function; electric windows; two-spoke leather steering wheel; leather gear knob; electric power steering, 9-spoke 15” alloy wheels and a luggage compartment cover. In addition to the standard solid roof, a panoramic roof and a cabrio version are available.
The trip computer provides information on the journey and the remaining range and the two round dash-mounted instruments show the battery state-of-charge and how much energy is being used or recuperated.
smart provides its electric drive customers with two standard charging cables for use via a household socket, or when using a wallbox/public charging station.
The smart Vehicle Homepage allows customers to communicate with their smart electric drive using portable devices such as tablets or smartphones and can check on current range, state of charge, all public charging stations nearby, remaining charge time – or if preferred, the smart fortwo electric drive will send an email to say it’s ready. The air conditioning with pre-conditioning function also makes it possible for customers to pre-cool or pre-heat the vehicle for a programmed departure time.
As an option, the smart fortwo electric drive can be equipped with a pedestrian sound module (£155), which emits a ‘vehicle on-the-road’ noise, and the electric drive assistance pack (£380), which consists of cruise control and a three-spoke leather sports steering wheel with shift paddles for manual battery recuperation. The driver can decide whether to coast, or use the regeneration to slow the vehicle, harvesting energy otherwise wasted in braking.
There’s a £600 optional electric drive design package which comes with electric green tridion and door mirror caps; body panels in crystal white; 15” 9-spoke alloy wheels painted in crystal white; interior accents in electric green, and colour design black upholstery.
sale&care is an addition to the ‘standard’ options of outright purchase, finance purchase and leasing (of both the car and battery). It allows customers to choose a cash purchase or lease option on the car, combined with battery rental through Mercedes-Benz Financial Services.
Purchased through the sale&care programme, prices start from £12,275 for the coupe (or £13,400 for the cabrio), plus £55 per month battery rental, which provides a battery capacity and maintenance promise, and if necessary, free battery replacement for up to 10 years. At the end of the agreement, the customer simply returns the battery, or extends the lease to a maximum of 10 years. When it comes to resale, the customer sells the vehicle and the new owner is free to choose which purchase option would suit them best. The car comes with a three-year warranty that can be extended to five years.
As an outright purchase, prices start from £15,395 for the coupe, or £16,895 for the cabrio.
In addition to the benefits of never having to refuel at a filling station again, the smart fortwo electric drive has zero road fund licence, is exempt from the London congestion charge and customers can enjoy subsidised or free parking in selected London boroughs and other major cities. Maintenance costs are also lower than that of a petrol smart – the electric drive doesn’t need any engine oil and the drivetrain only has a few moving parts.
Available in two body styles – coupé and cabrio – the smart fortwo electric drive joins a smart electric range that includes the smart electric bike, the smart fortwo BRABUS electric drive – available Spring 2013, and the smart escooter due in 2014.
You may be forgiven for thinking that you’ve seen the smart fortwo electric drive before – and that’s because you probably have, it’s been around in development form for a number of years and has taken part in various trials.
Following the trials that were conducted across 18 markets and 2,000 customers, the latest smart electric drive has been improved for series production.
The new smart fortwo electric drive is powered by a 55kW magneto electric motor – the first product from the EM-motive joint venture founded together with Bosch – the latest smart electric fortwo accelerates from 0-62 mph in 11.5 seconds.
There’s also an all-new, 17.6 kWh lithium-ion battery, which provides a range up to 90 miles and has been supplied for the first time by the Daimler subsidiary Deutsche ACCUmotive.
See our Electric Car Guide