We already knew that the new Smart ForTwo ED (Electric Drive) will arrive first to the USA later this year and arrive Europe in early 2017. But now the people of the German magazine Auto, Motor und Sport got the opportunity to ride it in the hot Arizona.
- NEDC range increase from 145 km to 160 km
The new Smart ForTwo ED is more efficient because of the powertrain made by Renault. The consumption in the real world is expected to improve from 15 kWh/100 km to 13 kWh/100 km.
- Battery capacity will remain roughly the same (17,6 kWh)
If there is an increase in battery capacity it’s marginal, not worth even mention. The first goal was to reduce costs. Using more energy dense cells makes the battery lighter, which contributes to better efficiency. Still the German magazine says the new Smart ForTwo ED is heavier than the old one. This means that the lighter battery isn’t enough to compensate the weight gain caused by the more powerfull motor and charger.
- Price is going down, a bit less than 20.000 €
This will make it cheaper than the gas version in some countries with generous incentives.
- The motor is made by Renault, the same used in the Zoe R240
This will give it 65 kW power, but the German magazine says 60 kW, this probably means it’s power limited by software to improve efficiency.
- The charger is able to reach 22 kW AC
It’s the same used in the Renault Zoe R240, given the smaller battery in the Smart ForTwo ED it’s able to charge from 0 % to 100 % in less than one hour.
My thoughts about the new Smart ForTwo ED.
On the bad side.
I think that the older design looks way better, but I understand that this new and less aerodynamic design is safer for pedestrians. In case of collision it’s better to land first on the hood than being projected directly to the ground.
On the good side I see a lot of changes.
In Portugal the entry level 30 kWh Leaf Visia is already priced at 26.015 € (after the small Government incentive of 2.250 €). So it’s obvious that the Smart ForTwo ED needs to be under 20.000 €.
Lower running costs is always better for your wallet and the Environment.
- Standard 22 kW AC charger
For the USA the charger is only 6,6 kW, since the 3-phase charger will be for Europe. The faster AC charger is great for city and home charging. Having said this I think that the option to use CCS charging is always welcome. Adding two large DC pins to the charging socket is so cheap that should be standard.
The same battery capacity, lower price trade-off.
In most cases I expect new versions of electric cars maintain the price (or drop a bit) and significantly increase the battery capacity. In this case I understand and agree with the decision of keeping the same battery capacity while cutting costs and improving efficiency. Mainly because we’re talking about a car made for cities, not highways. Price and running costs are a lot more important than range in this particular case.
The small battery is compensated by the very useful standard 22 kW AC charger. Privileging this type of charger also makes more sense in a city car, since it’s where most public AC chargers are. DC fast chargers are usually in highway service stations, not the usual environment for micro cars like the Smart ForTwo ED.
Overall I like this electric car, but still think the price should be nearer 15.000 € than 20.000 €. The 20.000 € price tag should be left for the bigger brothers, Twingo ZE and Smart ForFour ED.
What do you think about the new Smart ForTwo ED?