Smart Fortwo Electric Drive e-car
Pop to the shops
The handbook says a full charge from flat will take around eight hours while a top-up from 20-80 per cent will take 3.5. I’d add 30 minutes to that second figure but most of the time I simply left the car to charge overnight - just one more thing to keep juiced up along with my phone and laptop.
If the weather is either very hot or very cold the air conditioning system can be set to raise - or lower - the car’s cabin temperature to a pleasant 22° Celsius while the car is still connected to the mains.
Come 2012 there will be iPhone and Android - and probably Windows Phone 7 - apps to help you manage your ED from checking the battery status remotely to finding a charge point when you’re out and about.
Behind the wheel it’s only the noise - or rather the lack of it - and the absence of gear changes that gives away the ED’s motive power. Under hard acceleration, the brushless motors emits the same distant turbine-like whine as Mitsubishi’s iMiEV and Nissan's Leaf. It’s not an unpleasant sound.
The cord goes in where the petrol used to
That near silence can be a bit of an issue in car parks and built-up areas - the number of idiot pedestrians who stepped out in front of me over the course of a week beggared belief. Forget fitting electric cars with an audible means of approach, we need to start running these buffoons over in the interests of Darwinian selection.
Next page: The Smart Fortwo ED in pictures