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of diesel engine and electric motor allows even lower fuel
Stuttgart, Nov 15, 2005 The smart
crosstown show car, presented at the IAA in 2005, certainly
managed to attract attention. But its going to have to
share its limelight: because now, smart has come up with another
vehicle with hybrid drive. Indeed, the smart fortwo cdi hybrid
boasts even lower fuel consumption than the (already very
economical) smart crosstown beating it by more than a
litre per 100 kilometres.
The cars combination of a
diesel engine with an electric motor, with outputs of 30/20 kW
respectively (in the smart crosstown the electric drive is
combined with a petrol engine), means that the smart fortwo cdi
hybrid consumes around just 2.9 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres
under standard conditions in other words, some 15 percent
less than the (already very economical) smart fortwo cdi. At the
same time, the smart fortwo cdi hybrid shows that a hybrid drive
doesnt just mean lower fuel consumption: it can provide a
generous dose of additional driving pleasure, too.
Greater ride comfort with
The fortwo cdi hybrids
acceleration statistics clearly indicate the additional driving
pleasure that it provides. Because the cars shift delays
are bridged by the electric motor, it only needs 17.8 seconds to
accelerate from zero to 100 km/h. Thats ten percent
or two whole seconds better than with a conventional
diesel drive. And in terms of everyday use, another figure is
perhaps even more relevant: acceleration from 80 to 120 km/h.
This, too, is ten percent better in the smart fortwo cdi hybrid
than in the production car.
Gearshifting works in just the
same way as for the production vehicle: in order to change
between forward gears, the driver needs simply to move the
gearshift lever forward or back. The clutch is opened and closed
electrically, and a central control unit manages all of the
shifting and clutch processes. That means that the smart fortwo
cdi hybrid has no need for a clutch pedal which is
particularly convenient in traffic thats constantly
stopping and starting.
The diesel engine is switched
off to reduce fuel consumption
But the electric drive doesnt
just help the driver during gearshifting: thanks to the cars
automatic start-stop system, the diesel motor is automatically
switched off when the vehicle stops at, for example, a red light.
And the vehicle doesnt even need to be stationary in
overrun, too, and when driving at slow speeds, it makes a lot of
sense for the combustion engine to be switched off temporarily,
and for the electric motor to take over the drive.
As soon as acceleration is
required again, the electric motor can deliver when
pressure is applied to the accelerator pedal an output of
up to 20 kilowatts, for short periods of time. It will continue
to do so until the diesel engine is running again, and has built
up sufficient torque. At the current state of the art, this takes
around one second.
There is one exception: at speeds
over 70 km/h, the diesel engine is not switched off. This is
because the electric motor, by its very nature, delivers less
drive torque at higher speeds. So the diesel engine continues
idling, to ensure that it is ready for operation as soon as it is
required. That way, if the driver spontaneously decides to speed
up, the diesel engine will immediately be available to provide
him with the acceleration he needs.
Using braking energy to
recharge the battery
Of course, the smart fortwo cdi
hybrid would be fully functional even if its battery were flat.
In this respect it is the same as the smart fortwo cdi. But theres
no need to plug this two-seater into the mains: because during
deceleration, the electric motor works as a generator, recharging
the battery under the drivers seat. It does this not just
during braking, but also even if the driver simply takes his foot
off the accelerator. This means the smart fortwo cdi hybrid is
able to convert dynamic energy into electric energy. The
resulting energy can then be saved in the vehicles battery,
and used later for acceleration.
There are two exceptions to this:
if the braking power demanded by the driver exceeds that of the
generator (this is determined by the pressure applied by the
driver to the brake pedal), then the hydraulic brake system will
intervene, to slow the vehicle down some more. And once the
battery is fully charged, braking is carried out by the hydraulic