Hiya guys – I get to do a lot of different things as part of my job but reviewing cars isn’t usually one of them – mainly because I can’t drive – otherwise that would probably be included as well.
However, today I got to go out in a Smart ED (electric version of the Smart fourtwo) with a colleague driving – we filmed the whole experience.
He is writing a review as he drove the car and I’m writing a more generic feature about electric cars.
But I did knock a quick review together – my first car review written in about 10 minutes (as I know it won’t get published elsewhere) so thought I’d share it with you.
Not exactly the most exciting car in the world, in fact it being in it made me feel like I was sitting on top of an oversize rollerskate that someone had attached a small electric motor to.
Mercedes have produced around 100 Smart EDs – it’s basically a smart fourtwo with an electric motor instead of an engine.
They’re being made available to company’s and local councils across the UK as part of a four year trial to work out the kinks before a commercial release – which (despite the four year trial) they hope will be in 2011.
Inside it is pretty much the same as a standard Smart car, feels pretty much the same when driving and the only difference on the dash is the fuel gage being replaced with a power monitor.
It will apparently do 70 miles on a single charge although after a bit of pushing I got confirmation that that is the total limit if no other electrics are used.
So it WILL go 70 miles if you drive during the day on a warm but not hot day, and never touch the windows.
It will actually do an average of 50 miles on a single charge. A full charge takes about 12 hours and is charged from a standard British 13 Amp 3-pin plug.
Apparently it will do 70+ mph but is electronically limited to 60 – I tested it in Jersey with an island wide speed limit of 40mph – so not much of a problem.
At the moment you have to give it a full charge every night but they’re hoping that won’t be necessary, that you’ll only have to charge it as you need to when it is released.
It is very quiet – you can barely hear it bar the tyre noise from outside the car and inside it is almost silent – except for the VERY annoying whine.
Although at times that whine, which when accelerating sounds like a jet starting up – can feel a bit boys own knightrider-ish.
All in all it wasn’t bad, it’s certainly better than something like the G-Whiz and if you’re already happy with a standard Smart car then the Smart ED, when released to the public properly – won’t really cause you any real concern.
It feels, drives (apparently), looks and has the same safety rating as a Smart FourTwo – just with an electric motor instead of an engine.
What you will notice is the cost difference – forget global warming, climate change, environmental impact, pollution etc – lets talk about money.
Even in an exceptionally expensive electricity market like Jersey – a full charge (so 50 miles of driving) on a Smart ED costs just £1.20 – that works out at roughly 1.5p/mile – compared to around 6.7p/mile for the petrol version.
What are your thoughts on electric cars?
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