Round the block Smart ED electric car test drive GreenMotor co uk

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SMART ed cabrio Electric Cars

14 September 2009

We are back at Proving Ground. and at last we a chance to try the Smart Electric alas a very brief and on the low-speed city circuit of twists and turns, not on Millbrook s high-speed bowl or hill

It s a dazzling day and the glassy Smart is a greenhouse effect of its own inside. s no aircon to tame the September


Next year s second-generation ED will feature a Tesla-developed pack. but our car is the first-generation model. It is on the facelifted original ForTwo (or Coupe as it used to be called) with an electric drive by British firm Zytek. uses sodium-nickel chloride bolted under the seats, and a (74bhp) motor replacing the three-pot petrol engine at the

From the driver s seat the car is unchanged from standard. s even a (non functional) gauge among the instruments.

One of the pods that sprouts the dashboard now displays remaining capacity. Unusually for an electric this is an analogue clock its hand pointing to about 80% as we eyes on it. There is no attempt to this reserve capacity useful range that s as an exercise for the driver.

Smart quotes 72 miles charges, and eight hours for a charge.

The ignition key slots the centre console next to the Ahead is the stubby, joystick-like lever. This has a gate like an inverted L to the left for to the right for neutral, and back for

It has a nice, mechanical feel to it.

switched on and ready to go, the motionless ED is not there s a quiet but noticeable noise coming from the pack behind you, and a vibration you can feel through the pedal.

There s a slight between pressing the accelerator and the deciding to get up and go from a standstill. In an Smart, this could be on the oft-criticised automatic transmission, but can t be the culprit here, as the ED has only one ratio. The delay is not enough of a to get you T-boned at a junction, but just to make you think you might.

Throttle response once on the is instant, though.

SMART ed cabrio Electric Cars

At low speed, the steering felt reasonable and direct, and speed was easy to accurately.

There is a distinct from the drivetrain as you set off, and whine from the motor we ve heard in other electric This singing from the s oily bits rises in with road speed, and the ED is impressive. It is a quicker car than you need for city driving, zero and 40mph at least.

Smart quotes a 0-30mph of 6.5 seconds, which feels right, while Zytek the motor should be good for 75mph. Smart has electronically progress at 60mph. It feels solid and serene at speed, no rattles or squeaks.

On our bone-dry surface we failed to provoke and the firm suspension kept lean angles to a minimum. We the central, low-slung battery a better weight distribution to the rear-biased ForTwo, together a helpfully lower centre of Around corners and roundabouts, the car secure and very safe.

As long as you never turn that is. The combination of a relatively low rail and a high seat meant the rear-view mirror a monster blind spot for us where the road needed to be on left-handers. If the car were ours, we d be tempted to wrench the rear-view off and rely on the door mirrors

All in all, we liked the Smart ED than we thought we might. It s not by any means the tiny boot, driving position and low-speed are distinctly black marks. But it solid and well-engineered and would keep you alive in a crash.

Would we buy one? Cost be the issue and for the production ED that to be seen.

SMART ed cabrio Electric Cars
SMART ed cabrio Electric Cars
SMART ed cabrio Electric Cars

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