Electric Smart cars for Europe in 2017

Electric versions of Smart ForTwo, ForTwo Cabrio and ForFour to launch in 2017

The fully electric versions of the Smart ForTwo, ForTwo Cabrio and ForFour all made their debuts at the 2016 Paris Motor Show. They’re collectively known as Smart’s ‘Electric Drive’ models and this is the first time all three Smart models have become available as EVs (electric vehicles), as the previous iteration of the Smart ForFour was only available with traditional petrol or diesel power.

Set to launch in Europe in 2017, the new cars – the two-seater, two-seater convertible and four-seater – will go up against other small electric cars like the Renault Zoe and Volkswagen e-up! Smart expects its electric models to manage around 100 miles on a charge, while they should take around 45 minutes to top up from a fast-charging station. Charging from a standard socket should take around six hours.

Although there’s no word on pricing in the UK as yet, the ForTwo electric drive will be priced from €21,940 in Germany, which equates to £18,841 at current exchange rates. Factor in the £4,500 Government electric-car grant and this drops to £14,341.

Smart Electric Drive design

In terms of styling, very little has changed compared to the standard Smart ForTwo, Cabrio and ForFour models. The cars pictured here feature green exterior trim as well as ‘ED’ and ‘electric drive’ graphics, which are available as an optional extra. Furthermore, the company has said that “every wish can be catered for” when it comes to exterior and interior personalisation options.

Interior & equipment

Again, not much has changed compared to the standard model. There are additional displays to show the battery charge level and the remaining range. These pictures also show the car with the optional green trim detailing. Again, Smart offers a huge number of personalisation options for buyers to customise the look of the interior.

In terms of equipment, you don’t get much extra as standard compared to the petrol-powered Smart, but you can add things like a heated steering wheel. The big news, however, is the development of an app, from which you’ll be able to control certain aspects of the car remotely. This can be done from a computer, tablet or smartphone.

Called the ‘Smart Control’ app, it allows you to set the climate control before getting in the car, getting the car to the right temperature while it’s still charging so that it uses less battery power. You’ll also be able to set two customisable departure times, meaning the car will automatically prepare itself to leave at a certain time, so you don’t have to set the car up every time you want to leave.

Range, battery charging times & electric motors

All versions of the car come with the same 80bhp electric motor, which is enough to power the ForTwo from 0-62mph in 11.7 seconds, the Cabrio in 11.8 seconds and the ForFour in 12.7 seconds. Top speed for all models is 81mph.

From a standard power socket, the 17.6kWh battery will take around six hours to charge from 20% to 100%, while using the special Smart wall box drops this to 2.5 hours – half the time of the previous model. Later in 2017, the electric Smarts will get a fast-charger upgrade, which will allow the car to be charged in just 45 minutes.

Range hovers around the 100-mile mark, with the ForTwo capable of covering 99 miles on each charge, while the ForTwo Cabrio and ForFour will only be capable of covering 96 miles before charging. Obviously, this is heavily dependant on how the car is driven, the outside temperature and what sort of roads the car is driven on, which means that real-world range could well be dramatically less. It can, however, recoup some electricity through regenerative braking.

Price & on-sale date

The electric smarts will go on sale in early 2017, having first gone on sale in the US at the end of this year. There’s no official word on pricing, but we don’t expect much change from the German prices, which we’ve converted from Euro at the time of writing. These start at £14,431 for the ForTwo, £14,956 for the ForFour and £17,194 for the Cabrio. All prices quoted include the £4,500 Government electric car grant.

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