New 2.5-hour charge time is more than twice as fast as current car.
Just a few short hours after Smart's initial teaser video, we now have all the preliminary details about the new Electric Drive ForTwo, set to be revealed at next week's Paris Motor Show. The big news is that the updated car is more powerful than before, and has a longer range. Plus, and it takes half as long to fully charge. Of course, we knew all of that already.
Fair warning: The specs released here are for the European-market car. We'll have U.S.-specific data – including price, performance, and range – closer to the car's launch next year. Still, we don't expect it to be too far off from the Euro-spec numbers, which show an output of 80 horsepower and 118 pound-feet of torque, and an NEDC-estimated driving range of 99 miles (160 kilometers). To put that in perspective, the current ForTwo ED Coupe has 74 hp, 96 lb-of torque, and can only go about 75 miles on a full charge.
A huge step forward is the improved charging time – the new Smart takes just 2.5 hours to fully charge, compared to 5.5 hours in the current car. Of course, the Smart features a, um, smart app, which allows you to see charge information, and control things such as interior pre-conditioning and intelligent charging. Plus, you can program two departure times, so the car will always know that you’ll need the car to be fully charged and pre-conditioned for, say, your morning commute.
Our brief stint in the passenger seat of a ForTwo ED showed that the car can be a pretty fun runabout. With instant torque and a small turning circle, this car will no doubt be great for city driving. Of course, it's still kind of a slowpoke, with the coupe estimated to do 0-60 in 11.4 seconds (or 11.7 for the convertible). Additionally, the top speed is limited to 81 miles per hour.
Smart will offer its Electric Drive powertrain on the coupe, cabriolet, and ForFour models, meaning the brand's entire lineup can be had with internal combustion or electric propulsion. No, we won't get the ForFour in the U.S., but the two other body styles will arrive next year, complete with ED-specific (and optional) electric green exterior and interior accents. The ED Coupe will go on sale in spring 2017, and the ED Cabrio will follow in the summer. And unlike some EVs, the ForTwo ED will be a 50-state car right from initial market launch in the States.
We'll have more on the Smart ED live from Paris next week. Scroll down for the official press blast, below the gallery.
Gallery: 2017 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive
Electrification of all smart models
Stuttgart/Paris. The new smart electric drive makes opting into electric mobility more attractive than ever, combining overall agility with emission-free driving as an ideal combination for urban mobility. The smart fortwo electric drive is now available on the new-generation smart platform in both the smart fortwo coupe and cabrio models and, for the first time, in the smart forfour (not available in the U.S.). With this next generation, smart will be the only car manufacturer worldwide to offer its entire model range with both combustion engines and pure battery-electric drive. The smart electric drive will celebrate its world premiere at the Paris Motor Show and market launch of the smart fortwo coupe electric drive will start in the U.S. in spring 2017 and the smart fortwo cabrio electric drive in summer 2017.
"The smart is the ideal city car, and with electric drive it becomes a little bit more perfect," says Annette Winkler, Head of smart. "This is why we will soon be offering our entire range – smart fortwo, smart cabrio and even our smart forfour* – as all-electric versions. Together with lots of smart fans and enthusiastic drivers of the predecessor generations, we are looking forward to the unique driving fun offered by the new smart electric drive at very attractive prices, especially in countries where there is a buyer's premium."
The most important information at a glance:
- smart is the only car manufacturer worldwide to offer its entire model range with both combustion engines and pure battery- electric drive.
- The smart fortwo cabrio ED is the only electric cabriolet on the market.
- With 118 lb-ft torque and 80 hp, the electric car boasts exceedingly agile acceleration.
- The fully charged battery has sufficient power to cover approximately 99 miles (or 160 kilometers in accordance with the NEDC), making it ideal for urban use. U.S. range and overall electric motor specifications will be announced at launch.
- With the high-performance on-board charger, the smart electric drive can be charged in half the time as before (U.S. preliminary new generation charge time: 2.5 hours / previous generation charge time: 5.5 hours)
smart electric drive: agile, quiet and emission-free urban driving
The driving characteristics are as agile and lively as ever. The ultra- small turning circle also contributes to this, and at 22.8 feet for the two- seater it corresponds precisely to that of its sibling with conventional drive. Electric driving at smart offers maximum options for customization with regard to colors and optional equipment due to exclusive options and tridion paint colors offered on the electric drive model.
Charging time is an important factor for electric vehicle customers and the new smart electric drive also boasts major improvements here. All models have a new, powerful on-board charger as a standard feature. In the U.S., charging time is an estimated 2.5 hours – twice as fast as the predecessor. With the "smart control" app the charging process can be conveniently monitored from afar and many more functions, such as intelligent charging, can also be controlled remotely.
The smart fortwo electric drive models are series produced at smart's Hambach plant. The smart is equipped with a battery from the Daimler subsidiary Deutsche ACCUMOTIVE. The company based in Kamenz, Saxony has been building the electric heart of the smart electric drive since 2012.
An 80 hp electric motor works at the rear of the smart electric drive and transmits its power via a constant ratio to the wheels. Powerful torque of 118 lb-ft is immediately available from a standstill, a 19% increase over the 96 lb-ft offered by the previous generation smart ED. The electric drive has a range of approximately 99 miles (Euro NEDC cycle) – ideal for emission-free mobility in urban areas. The maximum speed is electronically limited to 81 mph to maximize the range. U.S. range and overall electric motor specifications will be announced at the time of launch.
Thanks to the power characteristics of the electric motor, the smart needs just one single fixed gear ratio. There is no need for any gear changing – a major advantage in dense city traffic. To reverse, the engine's direction of rotation changes.
In addition to the basic transmission mode, the driver can select ECO mode. This is designed for a particularly efficient driving style. In addition, the maximum speed is limited, the accelerator pedal curve adjusted and the maximum recuperation level is pre-selected. In overrun mode or when braking, the vehicle's kinetic energy is converted into electrical energy – this is called recuperation.
To save energy and extend the range, the smart electric drive also features pre-entry climate control. For example, this enables the desired temperature to be reached in the interior while the vehicle is still charging at a socket.
With the "smart control" app, lots of electric drive information can be called up via smartphone, tablet or PC and functions such as pre-entry climate control or intelligent charging can be conveniently controlled remotely. The new model has more operating options than the predecessor. For example, two programmable departure times mean that intelligent charging and pre-entry climate control do not always need to be reset for frequent journeys.
The smart electric drive models surpass the extensive standard equipment of their siblings with conventional drive as they additionally have a dashboard instrument with power meter and battery status display (standard) or on request the winter package with heated steering wheel for maximum climate comfort (optionally available). The electric drive design package (optionally available) gives the vehicle an expressive look with tridion safety cell and door mirror caps painted in exclusive electric green.
After the world premiere in Paris, the new smart fortwo electric drive will be launched in the U.S. in spring 2017 and the smart fortwo cabrio electric drive in summer 2017.
Electric history at smart
With the start of the first electrically driven test fleet in 2007 in London, smart also took on a pioneering role in the field of electric mobility when 100 smart fortwo electric drives took to the roads of the British capital with great success.
As early as 2009 smart launched the second generation of the smart fortwo electric drive, with the model being introduced in 18 markets. The objective was to gather as much experience as possible about how customers use and charge electric vehicles. The huge demand exceeded all expectations. Instead of the planned 1,000 vehicles, more than 2,000 smart fortwo electric drives were produced in Hambach.
From June 2012 the third generation of the smart fortwo electric drive also succeeded in winning wide-ranging buyers for its innovative and forward-looking drive concept. Moreover, in 2013 the smart fortwo was the first all-electric vehicle from a European importer in China. In Germany, the electric smart established itself as the market leader among battery- electric vehicles within a very short space of time with a market share of around 40 percent and was able to maintain this position for three years in a row.