What is it?
For those with a short commute seeking to get around the congestion charge or urban-based car buyers looking to contribute to a cleaner planet, the new Fortwo Electric Drive could prove an interesting alternative to the more conventional petrol-powered version. Compared with its predecessor, the two-seat electric city car features a roomier cabin, a newly developed motor from Renault and a more efficient battery that brings both reduced charging times and a small increase in range.
Set to reach the UK by mid-2017, the new Fortwo ED follows its predecessor by offering the choice of both coupé and cabriolet bodystyles. A larger and more versatile four-seat ForFour ED will also be part of Smart’s new range of all-electric models.
As with other Smart models, the ED comes in a wide range of customisable colour schemes, including an optional Electric Drive design package, which features a green-painted Tridion safety cell and exterior mirror housings. There’s also a special launch model called the Green Flash, with an exclusive green and black colour combination.
Power comes from a new rear-mounted electric motor produced at Renault’s Cleon plant in France. Producing 80bhp and 118lb ft of torque, the three-phase synchronous unit delivers 5bhp and 22lb ft more than the Bosch-supplied electric motor used by the previous Fortwo ED but 7bhp and 44lb ft less than the version used by the Renault Zoe.
Energy is stored in a lithium ion battery pack mounted underneath the seats. The 17.6kWh capacity is the same as before, a larger battery being ruled out on packaging and cost grounds, but the range is now put at 100 miles – a 10bhp improvement on its predecessor.
The battery pack also recharges much more quickly than before. A 22kw charging system will be standard in the UK. Buyers can also specify a 22kW wallbox that can recharge the battery to 80% capacity just 45 minutes.