2013 smart fortwo electric drive coupe 2dr Hatchback (electric DD)
I would only recommend this as a strictly commuter car if your commute is 5-10 mi each way. Parking is a breeze in NYC where parking in anything larger than a smart is a nightmare. However, when the weather is below 35 degrees, the cabin is always cold (even with heated seats) and the heat robs 20-40% of your range if you use it consistently. The 70hp boost they claim rarely kicks in when you step on the pedal. I've had the car for 4 mo now (since Nov '13) and range anxiety has been a major problem during the polar vortex days. My commute is only 15 mi each way and I always get home with just 20% of power from a 100% charge. If the range would be 100 mi with heat/AC on, this would be perfect
rain sensing wipers, upgraded stereo sounds decent for this price point, ride height, iPhone/USB connection
Range is HORRIBLE on this EV! So is the recharge times (almost 15-16 hrs) from 10% power level. Cold temps shouldn't affect range THAT much. Tesla was able to mitigate that issue. Not sure why smart couldn't especially since many of the components were provided from Tesla. The app that lets you control climate from your smart phone, has never ever worked. I posted to smart's FB page and they responded quickly with instructions but, it still doesn't work. such a shame because that may help with the range if I can leave w/the car warmed up while it was plugged in. The Navigation is garbage. Takes about 3 minutes to load before you can even enter an address and the GPS signal is mega weak
I own a Think City electric car, which is a bit bigger than a Smart, but still a two-seater. (Think was a division of Ford, and passed through several owners before going bankrupt, but they made a good little EV.) I'd like to make a few points about electric vehicles.
Basically, you did too little research, and set your expectations too high.
1. You bought a tiny car with a very small battery, even by EV standards. Kilowatt for kilowatt, Tesla's range is no better than anyone else's, and the same goes for its cold-weather performance. All they did was put really big batteries in their cars, which is why their cars are so expensive.
2. You can expect the winter range of a Smart to be 30 miles in winter to the 15%-20% state-of-charge level (maybe 40 or 45miles to empty), given that its battery is one-fifth the size of a Tesla. Summer practical range ought to be 50 or 55 miles. Not range to empty, but when you'd actually want to refill.
3. I'm really surprised that the Smart's heater stinks. The Think City has best, quickest heater I've had in any car, gas or electric. After 15 minutes, I have to turn to the lowest setting and reduce the temperature setting.
4. Recharge time depends entirely on what equipment you use. If it's taking you 15-16 hrs to recharge from 10%, you are using a 110v "Level 1" charger on the low-amperage setting. My charger allows you to charge at 7 amps or 12 amps. Use the 12-amp option, and you'd charge from 10% in 12 hours.
Or you could spend $450 on a Bosch 240v charger that connects to a standard electric dryer circuit. This would recharge 90% of a Smart ED in about 5-1/2 hours. In real life, I typically recharge my Think City (whose battery is one-third larger than the Smart's) in five or six hours.
5. Back to Tesla. In February 2013, Consumer Reports drove a Tesla Model S in the middle of winter. They got 176 miles on 90% of a charge, which corresponds to 35 miles in a Mercedes Smart, whose battery is one-fifth the size. You got 30 miles on 80% of a charge. So you can see: All Tesla did was use a bigger battery. No magic. And that Tesla that CR tested cost a good $90,000. You get what you pay for.
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