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June 20, 2013

Have You Seen the All-New Electric-Drive smart?

Smart-electric-drive-10-beautysmart, the iconic microcar, is wrapping up its cross-country tour bringing the all-new smart electric drive to eco-minded urbanites across the country and giving shoppers an opportunity to drive the most affordable electric vehicle on the market, with an MSRP of $25,000 (additional federal, state and local subsidies may further reduce the cost of the car). The smart electric drive achieves 122 city MPGe, or miles per gallon gasoline equivalent.

The EPA tested range for the electric drive is 76 miles in city driving. In real world driving however, the customer may achieve closer to 90 miles on a full charge. However, much like conventional fuel economy, the range of any electric vehicle depends on driving habits and weather so consumers can expect the range between charges to vary.

The electric smart tour makes its final stops in Hoboken on June 22 & 23, in Brooklyn on June 29 & 30, and in Chicago on July 6 & 7. Get more details on the electric smart, as well as exact locations for the remaining tour stops at


Smart-electric-drive-32-chargingsmart Electric Drive Safety and Technology Highlights

The smart fortwo electric drive is powered by a magneto-electric motor that’s installed between the rear wheels in place of the conventional engine. Because electric motors create instant high torque, the car uses a single gear instead of a multiple-gear transmission. As a result, there’s no need for shifting – a major advantage especially in dense city traffic. To back up, the electric motor is simply run in the opposite direction.

The electric drive battery fits right where the fuel tank usually goes, in the underfloor area between the front and rear wheels, while the electric motor replaces the conventional engine between the rear wheels. As a result, the electric drive looks just like a normal fortwo. The electric drive has the same outside footprint, the same interior room, the same cargo space and the same high level of safety that have come to define the smart fortwo.

In the new generation of the smart fortwo electric drive, an EM-motive (joint venture between Bosch and Daimler) 55-kilowatt electric motor provides 35 kilowatts of continuous power that translates to 96 lb.-ft. of torque. In its kickdown mode, the motor can generate peak power of 55 kilowatts for about two minutes. This power provides acceleration from zero to 60 mph in less than 12 seconds, and a top speed of more than 78 mph.

Smart-electric-drive-14-drivingThe smart Electric Drive can be charged from any normal household 110-volt wall socket with the provided standard cable or a 240-volt socket (like those used for electric clothes dryers and kitchen ranges) with a charging station. 

Charging time depends on battery temperature and which outlet is used. From a 240-volt outlet, it only takes 3 1⁄2 hours to charge the battery from 20 to 80 percent and about six hours to reach full charge from a depleted battery.

The smart electric drive is a zero-emission statement that further defines the spirit of smart, which has led the auto industry in urban mobility and energy conservation. Based on the iconic smart fortwo, and available in both coupe and cabriolet styles, the new generation smart fortwo electric drive has the smallest footprint of any car on U.S. roads today and represents a key step in sustainable transportation.

Smart-electric-drive-logoIn addition to getting behind the wheel of a unique cutting-edge electric vehicle, the tour showcases many of smart’s attributes from its virtually unlimited customization options to its patented tridion safety cell technology, which acts like the roll-cage in a race car. On display at each stop, the rigid tridion safety cell is made largely of high-strength steel, and is designed to distribute impact energy over the entire width of the car body to keep its occupants safe. The smart fortwo electric drive coupes have eight standard air bags – front, side, knee and window curtain – for the driver and passenger. Because of the cabriolet’s open-top design, head/thorax air bags are installed instead of the coupe’s side and window curtain air bags. The wheels can also contribute to safety in a side collision. Thanks to its relatively short wheelbase of 73.5 inches, the other car will typically hit an axle, which can absorb a lot of the impact energy. When side satellite sensors detect a side crash, the window curtain or head/thorax air bags are triggered to protect the upper part of the body, the neck and the head.


Surprising Storage Space

Considering the car’s small size, it’s amazing how much fits into the trunk of the electric drive. With 7.8 cubic feet of storage space, there’s more than enough luggage room for weekend trips and most shopping, and owners who want to load their car to the ceiling have a full 12 cubic feet of space. What’s more, large objects such as bicycles, furniture, or lumber can be transported in the smart fortwo electric drive by folding the passenger seat forward.

The two-piece tailgate needs very little room to open, for example in tight parking spaces. The bottom half of the tailgate even has storage space inside; the cabriolet roof bars are designed to be stored in this special compartment. The tailgate opens automatically as soon as one of the two release levers is pulled.

The smart electric drive coupe retails at $25,000 and the cabriolet model retails at $28,000. Customers may also be eligible for federal tax credits (which run up to $7,500) or state/local tax credits, further reducing the cost. All smart models sold in the United States are covered by a four-year, 50,000-mile new vehicle limited warranty.



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