|Smart will offer its new 2017 Electric Drive in both Coupe and Cabrio body styles when it arrives this spring. (Photo: Smart)|
Yes, as it turns out many Canadians haven’t fared much better at $27-$54 per barrel than we did when crude hovered between $100-$146, the provincial average gasoline pump price ranging between $0.97 per litre in Saskatchewan and $1.29 in Newfoundland, with Ontario at $1.04 and BC at $1.19 at the time of writing, while the lowest metro price is Edmonton at $0.95 and highest Vancouver at $1.29, Toronto splitting the middle with $1.06 per litre. Hence, alternative fuel vehicles are still just as valid today as they were two and a half years ago before the oil market tanked.
|Plenty of trims and colour options allow for extreme personalization. (Photo: Smart)|
First off, Smart will produce it in both Fortwo Coupe and Cabrio body styles, making
|Smart’s Fortwo is an ideal city car made even better with clean 100-percent electric power. (Photo: Smart)|
“The smart is already the perfect city car, and with electric drive it becomes a little bit more perfect,” said Annette Winkler, head of Smart. “This is why we will soon be offering our entire range – Smart Fortwo Coupe, Smart Fortwo Cabrio and even our smart Forfour [not available in Canada] – as all-electric versions. We are joining legions of Smart fans, as well as enthusiastic drivers of the three preceding generations, in looking forward to the unique driving fun offered by the new Smart Electric Drive. Very attractive prices only add to our anticipation, especially in countries where there is a buyer’s premium.”
|All upgrades from the redesigned conventionally-powered Fortwo are included plus some unique Electric Drive features. (Photo: Smart)|
Setting the Smart apart is its diminutive size, the 2,695-mm (106.1-inch) long Electric
|The speedometer is joined by a large colour TFT multi-information display featuring EV-specific features like range, battery usage, etcetera. (Photo: Smart)|
Small translates into a light curb weight, the spritely Fortwo Electric Drive making the most of its rear-mounted 80 horsepower three-phase synchronous electric motor thanks to all of its 118 lb-ft of torque coming on immediately from standstill, its zero to 100km/h sprint taking 11.5 seconds (11.8 with the Cabrio) and top speed limited to 130 km/h.
|The tachometer pod now incorporates EV info for keeping tabs on battery recharging and more. (Photo: Smart)|
Daimler subsidiary Deutsche Accumotive, which is based in Kamenz, Saxony, Germany, will produce the new Electric Drive’s battery, carrying on a tradition that began in 2012 with the first Smart EV. In-house production guarantees quality control and availability, the battery production division also providing power supplies to Mercedes-Benz’ many plug-in hybrid-electric models, even including the German brand’s new prototype GLC F-CELL hydrogen fuel cell powered SUV.
|The fixed tablet style infotainment display is upgraded with unique EV info as well. (Photo: Smart)|
To eke out as much range as possible, the new Smart Electric Drive will benefit from an Eco mode that keeps accessories like the climate control system at minimal levels, retards acceleration, limits maximum speed, and pre-selects maximum recuperation, which is a process that captures otherwise wasted kinetic energy and puts it back into the electrical system via an overrun mode and/or regenerative braking.
|Premium-level detailing continue to set the Fortwo apart no matter the trim. (Photo: Smart)|
Along with many of the same types of features conventional Smart Fortwo customers have grown accustomed to, the Electric Drive ups the ante with revised primary instruments featuring a power metre and battery status display, while heatable seats and a heated steering wheel will add comfort during cold winter months.
Like all Smart Fortwos, the Electric Drive will be available with plenty of colours and options applied at
|A smartphone app lets you monitor charging and interior temperature, plus access other features remotely. (Photo: Smart)|
Of note, Smart’s Canadian sales rebounded last year with 1,875 deliveries compared to just 716 sold through calendar year 2015, much thanks to the entirely new third-generation conventionally powered Fortwo. While that number still isn’t close to past highs, the brand finding 4,080 Fortwo buyers in 2005, the new Electric Drive should help boost the brand’s recent success yet higher.
Aiding EV sales are new rebate programs to help promote cleaner driving, with BC’s usual $5,000 rebate upped to $8,250 if you trade in an old “clunker” at the point of purchase (which will be taken off the road); Ontario’s program now capped at 30 percent of the price of the EV and therefore expected to remain at $8,500; and Quebec’s maintaining status quo at $8,000 no matter the EV purchased.
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