The smart fortwo was always intended to be powered electrically, but it took fifteen years to turn that dream into reality. Technically this is actually the third generation of electric fortwos but the first and second attempts were really development models and were never offered for general sale. This has however provided smart with over five years of real life data to refine the concept.
The production Electric Drive fortwo has clearly benefited from customer feedback and the rapidly advancing technology that underpins it. As a result performance has been beefed up with the 0-62 mph dispatched in a very respectable 11.5 seconds and a motorway friendly 78 mph top speed on offer. The official range is 90 miles although as with all electric cars this is very dependent on driving style and ambient temperature so 50 – 90 miles is more likely.
The fact that the fortwo was always intended to get batteries gives the little smart some big advantages. Firstly the lithium-ion battery pack fits in the sandwich floor which means that the centre of gravity is actually better than the conventional models. It also has some neat design features such as the optional storage bin for the charging cable hidden in the boot lid.
Most manufacturers offering electric cars are either selling customers the car and battery (more expensive) or renting the battery separately. Cleverly smart is giving customers the choice. If you do choose to rent the battery, smart is responsible for replacing the expensive battery pack if it degrades at any time over a whole ten years, which offers great peace of mind.
Given the advanced drivetrain the fortwo is actually reasonably priced especially if you rent the battery. The basic specification is good and includes touch screen satellite navigation as standard. If you want the option of 1 hour fast charging you will need to specify the 22 kW on-board charger which costs £2,650 and a wallbox charger. We think that is fair enough as the trial data shows that most customers are happy to charge overnight and they get the car at a significantly reduced price.
Official electricity consumption: 143 (optional fast charge) 151 (standard charge) Wh/km
Battery pack: 17.6 kWh Lithium-ion
Recharge time: 240v charge 7 hours, quick charge 1 hour for 100% charge from empty
Please note that CO2 emissions quoted for electric cars are not directly comparable to diesel and petrol cars. This is because CO2 emissions quoted are calculated by Green Car Guide and include the emissions created at the power station turning fuel (e.g. gas etc) into electricity and in transmitting and distributing the electricity to an end user. They do not include the actual production of the fuel (e.g. gas extraction and refinery emissions). Petrol and diesel emissions are supplied by car manufacturers and are based solely on the fuel burnt in the engine (tailpipe emissions) and do not include the production of the fuel or distribution to a fuel station. In practice this means that electric car emissions are over estimated relative to petrol and diesel. For instance if an electric car, a petrol car, and a diesel car are all reported to emit 100 g/km CO2, the electric car actually has lower emissions.