Smart Fortwo Electric Drive (2006–2014)

Model History

March 2006

The smart ed costs around £1.80 to fully charge. In some of the most efficient diesels that would get you around 25 miles, but could potentially get you 80 in the smart ed. So if you only ever cover short distances it won’t cost much to run. VED is free, thanks to zero tailpipe emissions.

It’s exceptionally easy to drive in an urban environment. The single gear ratio means steady progress is easy, and stop start traffic isn’t a problem. 0-30mph takes the same amount of time as a petrol smart. It’s classed as a car rather than a quadricycle, unlike the G-Whizz. That means it’s as safe as its internal combustion powered counterparts in an accident.

July 2006

Smart ev (electric vehicle) launched "on trial". The car is made available on a lease arrangement to selected UK corporate customers with deliveries from November 2006. It has 30kW output, a top speed of 70 mph and offers better in-town performance than its petrol powered stablemate, with 0-30 mph in 6.5 seconds. Range is up to 72 miles and the smart ev is exempt from vehicle excise duty and congestion charge. The drive train for the smart ev is produced in the UK by technology partner Zytek Group who undertake final assembly of the smart ev in Fradley, near Litchfield. Available for business leas only at a high £400pm due to low volumes. Cars taken back at end of lease and batteries and all main components recycled.

March 2009

Smart EV revived for second generation Smart. Zytek has developed an integrated electric drivetrain to drive the rear wheels of the Smart Fortwo. The drivetrain integrates the electric motor, power and control electronics, into one assembly with only three connections: water, high voltage electrics (300V) and low voltage electrics (12v). This replaces the conventional petrol engine and rear axle, and removal of the fuel tank allows room for a battery pack below the floor.

The second-generation electric Smart will represent a major upgrade on the first version, which has been tested extensively in London since 2007. The new version is based on the second-generation Fortwo model, and the biggest technical change is a move to Lithium Ion batteries instead of sodium-nickel-chloride. This will increase the range life of the battery pack, while cutting recharge times. The batteries are to be supplied by US-based electric sports car maker Tesla.

The new Smart Fortwo ED is used mainly in organised EV test programmes in major European cities, including Berlin, Paris, Rome, Milan and Pisa, with further cities planned. The smart ed was the top selling electric car in 2008 and continues to outsell the competition so far in 2009.

The smart ed emits no carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, unburned hydro-carbons, particulate matter or any harmful substance – in fact it emits nothing at all. The smart ed retains all the safety equipment you would find on a regular smart. So unlike electric quadricycles you will find ESP, ABS brakes two Airbags and seat belt pre tensioners on the ed. The ed also is exempt from London Congestion Charging & Vehicle Excise Duty. Drivers of the smart ed can expect to achieve the equivalent of around 300 mpg

The smart ed has no engine oil, oil filter, spark plugs or exhaust. In fact there are only a handful of moving parts in the driveline, resulting in very low service and maintenance costs. Following successful trials in the UK, the zero-emission, smart fortwo electric drive is ready for small series production.

Reaction from customers taking part in the UK trial, including the Metropolitan Police, universities, local councils, architects and energy companies, has proved so encouraging that smart’s parent company, Daimler AG, can confirm that the smart electric drive will go into small series production, with cars coming to the UK in early 2010.

What does a Smart Fortwo Electric Drive (2006 – 2014) cost?

Contract hire from £130.24 per month