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By Andrew Noakes
19 June 2008 15:16
Smart isn’t trialling 100 electric Fortwos in the UK, instead of Germany, because our petrol prices are higher, or because our congestion charges more swingeing. In fact, it's largely because the Electric Drive conversion and the 'hot' battery technology underpinning the Smart Fortwo ED were both developed by Zytek in Lichfield, Staffordshire.
Not much. Our cars had ‘Electric Drive’ graphics, but otherwise only sharp-eyed Smart spotters will see the clues to the ED's unusual powertrain. From outside you can just see the bottom of the battery pack, while inside a charge indicator replaces the rev counter and the gear selector has a simpler D-N-R quadrant.
To get the ED going you turn the key to ‘on’ and move the gear lever to D, and then… nothing happens. The ED only comes alive when you press the accelerator, bounding forwards with acceleration that easily matches other city traffic and a bionic-milkfloat soundtrack.
Click 'Next' below to read more of our Smart Fortwo ED
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Smart Fortwo ED (2008) electric CAR review
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RE: Smart Fortwo ED CAR review
I hope, if they ever bring this to the States, that they would change the suffix to something else. Over here ED has become a phrase synomous with what a man takes Viagra for thanks to the commercials.
24 June 2008 14:41
I doubt that the pollution incurred in building, delivering and disposing of an electric smart is much different to a petrol or diesel powered one. The method of disposal of batteries is a good question and one that the industry will have to face when they bring these to the mass-market.
The source of the electricity is of course an important point. In countries like France where the majority of electricity is from nuclear or cities like Vancouver which are hydro-powered, cars like this can make a real difference. In the UK you have Drax, but you also have companies such as Ecotricity which will source from greener sources.
Electricity has a number of advantages over other power sources. Firstly, it can be generated by multiple means. Secondly, it can be stored safely. Third, in itself it is non-polluting.
In today's world, an electric Smart won't make much of a difference. However if manufacturers continue to improve electric motors and batteries, charge times will decrease and efficiency will increase.
I agree that people may drive around in one of these today and think they're saving the planet, but I'm glad that Smart are developing cars like this. Development takes time and the world needs to change.
20 June 2008 04:33
Tim, actually all the comments have been erased, not just mine - but thanks for having a look into it anyway!
19 June 2008 23:28
From an area in the world that supplies much of the worlds coal; I thank you from the bottom of our mines. Long may environmentally conscious people buy this type of vehicle, and help the industries that my company supports prosper. The more coal we burn, the more opportunities I have to burn oil based fuels. A win, win then. (For me at least.)
19 June 2008 23:08
Note to Kubrick - I didn't erase your comment, but then I've been away for a few days. I'll check tomorrow if someone else in the office did - or maybe it was a bug. Intriguing!
19 June 2008 22:09
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