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
"hat 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."
Hum, this could be a problem, for those of use without sight, (I'm blind if you had not guessed). how will we know when an electric car is approaching? I can hear a 'normal' car and judge its distance, but if, however, electric car owners are going to adopt the 'run me over because I'm to stupid to hear/see you coming' approach, I'll have to consider another way of crossing the road.
Can we have this shouted from the roof tops please?
"Ideally, you need secure or off-road parking to charge but an extension lead running through the garden and joining the charge cable in a weather-proof housing proved more than up to the job. Luckily, I can park right next to my garden wall, keeping the charge cable more or less hidden from casual glances and felonious passers-by."
I live in a city, my usual commute would be ideal for a leccy motor, but most nights its a 5 minute walk from the 'different every night' parking space I can get. So re-charging is impossible.
The reason hydrocarbons work is that we can fill a tank of many hundreds of kW equivalents in a few moments. Until some boffin can fix that, they wont have mass market appeal. Its not 'range anxiety' thats the problem, its refueling.
Apart from on the motorway, pedestrians actually have right of way (in UK), so it is up to you motorists to make sure you don't hit them if they step out into the road without looking. They are there by right, you have to get a licence, insurance, and pay VED (if applicable) for permission to be there.
As for driving this on the motorway, as you said, the speed limit is the limit, you don't have to drive at that speed if you don't want to, just stick to the first lane and you won't be in the way.
For London traffic, this car is probably even too fast, most traffic seems to be in the 10-20 miles per hour range.