smart Fortwo ED (2017) in the test - first driving report of the electric strobe

There is a new battery with new lithium-ion cells from LG, but with 17,6 kWh it offers exactly the same storage capacity as before

It was a good idea once. A city car of small size. With efficient drive, cleverly thought out, made personable. A car for two, because you rarely sit in the car more than once anyway. The smart. But as so often, a clever idea is not always a guarantee of success. And even if you emphasize at smart today how successful the predecessors were and how long you've been really innovative - for the youngest generation, a partner had to be brought on board so that the project could be implemented. And so the youngest smart generation came onto the market as one of two twins. You may like it or not - it definitely helps to implement innovations. Two-seaters, five-seaters and convertibles, everything on offer - and very promptly. And now also electric. And also for all variants. I drove the new Elektro smart for my-auto-blog, of all places in America. In Miami. How was that? The truth in the driving report for the new smart ED.

Test report: smart ED (2017)

Hummingbird in the elephant zoo

Yes. Yes. Yes. The electric drive comes from Renault. Yes, a Twingo with an electric drive will also be offered there. Yes. So is this new world. Cooperations are the elixir from which the margins are created. In the field of small and very small cars, there is no longer any sting to be made without limitless cooperation. We remember the triplets from PSA and Toyota? Just. In this case, Renault and Mercedes-Benz are, um, smart - just very close. The batteries are provided by the Daimler subsidiary Accumotive (LG cells), the three-phase motor comes from the French. And many other things too. The fact that smart is presenting the new “Ed” in the USA of all places is worth more than a wink. Because the classic question is: what is the range of the electric dwarf?

A large US city should offer more than enough scope for an e-dwarf. And the Americans are the world champions of commuting anyway. Together with my colleague Schlörb from five point six, I drove the smart ED a few months ago on the last test kilometers - just drove it - here is the video:

Now it was time to take the steering wheel in hand.

The tiny electric vehicle is first and foremost a typical smart. Only without "hum". Instead just a “bing”. Ready to go. Silent. Still ghostly. But in this case the electric mobility fits the overall impression much better than usual. It's hammer on the nail head, the cream on the cheesecake, the chocolate sprinkles in the cappuccino, the thong on the dream woman. This is how it has to work. So it makes sense.

Thanks to 160 Nm three-phase power, the smart ED sprints in 4.9 seconds, not to 100, but to 60 km / h. That is more than sufficient for the city. The fast-reacting traffic light start makes for surprised faces in the lane next door, for a happy grin on the faces on board the smart ED. The electric smart zooms happily up to 130 km / h without any pauses. It's over. Electronically limited. The 90 hp of the electric motor would do more if they were allowed to. But in his natural habitat the 130 km / h should be considered “completely sufficient”.

smat-ed test drive-114-miami-2016

For one morning we roam free of CO2 through the city traffic of the metropolis Miami. From South Beach to Coconut Groove and back to Downtown. For one morning we wonder about the start-up problems of electromobility. Anyone who grabs the smart ED and drives up to 160 km (NEDC) purely on electricity should be cured of their prejudices about e-mobility. Of the 160 “standard kilometers”, 120 to 140 will probably remain in everyday life, but isn't that enough? In the city? The battery of the latest generation of electric smart has not grown compared to its predecessor. It remains at 17.6 kWh. Of course, one asks immediately: Why? The answer is clear: because it is enough. The smart is designed as an urban automobile and even driving for a day in Miami in the style of a pizza delivery man goes along with it without complaint. Without fear of range. So why accept more weight and more cost? In the coming year smart will offer a 22 kW fast charger as an “option”. Until then, the smart will suck up to the full battery level within 7.2 hours on a standard wallbox (3.5 kWh), and a good 230 hours should be planned for on the classic socket (6 volts). The upcoming fast charger will reduce the charging time to just under 45 minutes.

The emotions of the smart can be slowed down using the ECO button. The reaction becomes much more lethargic, the air conditioning switches to economy mode and the brake pedal is, in principle, unemployed thanks to increased recuperation. If you want to take it to the top, do it. In the sweltering winter of Miami, this was not an alternative for us.

smat-ed test drive-006-miami-2016

The cheeky turning circle of 6.90 meters is always surprising. In the USA, almost one lane is enough for the 180 ° -turn. In view of the huge SUV, the handy smart looks like a hummingbird in the elephant zoo. Also exciting is the integration of an aid that is already familiar from the electrical B-Class. A radar sensor in the front helps with an ecologically correct driving style. It has increased recuperation when you hit the one in front and controls the sailing operation when the road is clear.


The starting price is € 21.940. A real amount for a real city car. Thanks to the current electric car subsidy, you can deduct € 4.000 again - or you can switch to the convertible.

smat-ed test drive-029-miami-2016

At the end...

It's a good idea thought through. A city car of small size. Efficiency in the drive. Conveniently implemented. One car for “up to two” - locally emission-free. The new smart ED - nothing more is needed for everyday urban life! Are you still afraid of contact? That might help: the smart ED has an 8-year or 100.000-kilometer guarantee on its drive battery!


Price € from: € 21.940
tax annually: exempt
Drive: separately excited three-phase synchronous motor, 60 kW, 160 Nm, 1-speed gearbox, rear-wheel drive
dimensions: 2 seats, L / W / H 2690,1660,1550, 1050, 260 mm, weight 360 kg, case no. 17.6-XNUMX l, tank XNUMX kWh.
Performance: 0-100 km / h 11.5 sec, top 130 km / h, standard consumption 12.9 kWh / 100 km
Extras: Optional 450 € quick charger (from 2017)


The “slightly different” electric chair - would actually have been the headline. But on the one hand the death penalty in the USA is no joke and on the other hand the derogatory term “chair” does not apply to the smart ED. But hey, it would have been funny - very briefly 😉 


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