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applications, it makes absolute sense
Unlike the smart fortwo cdi hybrid
or indeed the smart crosstown the smart fortwo ev (electric
vehicle), is driven solely by its electric motor (with an output
of up to 30 kW/41 bhp). That makes for even lower running costs.
Naturally, a purely electric drive is associated with certain
limitations, so it is likely only to be suitable for certain
applications. For these applications, however, it makes an awful
lot of sense.
As mentioned, the running costs
themselves, per kilometre, are clearly lower than those of a
petrol-driven smart fortwo. And thats saying something.
While the smart fortwo, with a fuel consumption of EUR 0.06 per
kilometre, is already well ahead of its competitors, the smart
fortwo with electric drive costs a mere EUR 0.02 per kilometre to
At its best on short journeys
and in urban traffic
Yet the smart fortwo evs
driving performance is not to be sniffed at: it can accelerate
from zero to 60 km/h in much the same time as its petrol-driven
counterpart. At higher speeds the electric drive has,
unsurprisingly, a somewhat harder time, but nonetheless can
manage a top speed of 120 km/h. The figures certainly suggest
that this drive could be ideal for urban applications.
Its energy consumption is
certainly quite modest: 12 kilowatt hours per 100 kilometres mean
it has a range of 110 kilometres. Given the current state of the
art in battery technology, this is a very respectable figure.
Nonetheless, it is clear from the figures that an electric
vehicle is best when travelling short distances. Having said
that, it only takes four hours to charge the battery from 20 to
80 percent of its capacity. An empty battery can be fully charged
in no more than eight hours, in other words overnight, for
example. The charging socket for the power cable is located
underneath the filler cap, where the filler neck for diesel or
petrol would be in other vehicles.
One forward and one reverse
The alternative drive of the smart
fortwo ev can be fitted without any need for expensive or time-consuming
modifications. The electric motor is located in the rear, exactly
where the combustion engine would be in a more conventional
vehicle. The transmission, which in the case of the smart fortwo
ev has been locked in second gear, is likewise in the rear of the
car. That means the smart fortwo ev does not need the smart
fortwos gearshift knob, since it only uses one forward and
one reverse gear.
The charge level indicator for the
battery is where the rev counter would be in other vehicles: in a
central position on the instrument panel, together with the
analogue clock. But thats all that has changed. The vehicles
interior and luggage compartment are just as big as before, and
even the smart fortwo evs sodium-nickel chloride battery is
positioned centrally in the cars underbody.
Heres more evidence of smarts
willingness to cooperate: like the drives of the smart crosstown
and the smart fortwo cdi hybrid, the smart fortwo evs
electric drive has been created in cooperation with Zytek, a
British company with a great deal of competence and experience in
developing hybrid and electric drives.