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Smart electric drive

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Smart EQ
Smart EQ Fortwo
ManufacturerDaimler AG
Also calledSmart Fortwo electric drive
Smart ED
Production2007 (100)
2009–2012 (2,000)
Body and chassis
Body style
  • EQ Fortwo:
  • 3-door hatchback
  • 2-door convertible
  • EQ Forfour:
  • 5-door hatchback
Electric motorPermanent Magnet AC Synchronous motor (PMSM)

The Smart EQ Fortwo, formerly Smart Fortwo electric drive, smart ed or Smart Fortwo EV, is a battery electric vehicle variant of the Smart Fortwo city car made by Smart. Since 2020, Smart is only selling battery EVs.

The Smart EQ Forfour was an electric variant of the long wheelbase four-door second generation Smart Forfour city car Type 453 which shared approximately 70% of its parts with the third-generation Renault Twingo, both built by Renault in Slovenia.

Field testing of the electric Smart Fortwo 450 began in London with 100 units in 2007, leasing only due to the cumbersome molten salt ZEBRA battery. With drive train and lithium-ion battery provided by a California startup named Tesla, the second-generation ED with the second-generation 451 chassis was introduced in 2009 and made available in 18 markets around the world for leasing, or through the Car2Go carsharing service in selected cities, with over 2,300 units delivered.[1][2][3][4]

A near production version of the third-generation Smart ED, using the face lift 451 body and drive train plus complete LiIon battery built by Daimler joint ventures, was unveiled at the September 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show.[5] Smart started in 2012 to mass-produce the electric car for regular availability in up to 30 markets worldwide.[4][6][7][needs update] Deliveries of the third-generation Smart ED began in the U.S. and Europe in May 2013. More than 8,800 units of the second and third generation Smart ED were sold in North America and Europe between 2009 and June 2014,[3][8][9] of which, over 6,500 units are third generation variants.[8][9]

Since 2017, the fourth-generation Smart Electric Drive is being sold.[10][11][12] As Daimler discontinued the electric joint ventures, it uses a Renault drive train, the fourth variant in as many electric generations. The body corresponds to the third-generation ICE-powered Smart 453; this mismatch in the numbering of generations arose because the Smart ED2 and the Smart ED3 were both based on the second-generation ICE-powered Smart 451.

First generation

A Smart ED Police Car in central London in 2008

The first Smart electric drive vehicles, still using the first generation type 450 body style, were modified by Zytek Electric Vehicles. They were powered by a rear-mounted motor driving the rear wheels. It ran on 13.2 kilowatt hours of sodium-nickel chloride Zebra batteries. These type of molten salt battery operates at 245 °C (473 °F). It is typically kept molten and ready for use because if allowed to "freeze" it takes twelve hours to reheat and charge. Thus it is not very useful for private owners, but rather in fleets of taxis, police cars and other vehicles that are operated by multiple users.

Field testing began in London with 100 vehicles in 2007[1] and was available only for lease to corporate clients for £375 per month.[13]


  • Power: 30 kW (41 hp)
  • Economy: 12 kilowatt-hours per 100 kilometres (430 kJ/km or 190 W·h/mi)
  • Range: 110 kilometres (68 mi)
  • Recharge time (80%): four hours
  • Recharge time (100%): eight hours
  • Top speed: 120 kilometres per hour (75 miles per hour)

Second generation


The second generation, Smart ED2, was introduced in 2009 to 18 markets with the objective to gather experience about how customers use and charge electric vehicles. Daimler initially planned to build 1,000 vehicles, but as demand exceeded the company's expectations, more than 2,000 Smart Fortwo electric drive cars were produced. The electric cars were available for leasing or through the Car2Go carsharing service in San Diego, Amsterdam and Vancouver.[1][14][15][16] Production of the second-generation Smart Fortwo electric drive began in November 2009 in Smartville, Hambach, France. The Smart ED2s have a 16.5 kilowatt-hours (59 MJ) lithium-ion battery provided by Tesla, Inc.[17] and a powertrain provided by Zytek.[18][19] The range of a fully charged battery is up to 135 kilometres (84 miles) under the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) cycle.[20][21]

Smart Fortwo "electric drive" badge

As part of a three-phase roll-out program, phase two began with field testing in Berlin in December 2009 with 100 units out of 300 that will be deployed in Germany.[22][23] For phase two 1,500 cars were produced, and field tested in Hamburg, Paris, Rome, Milan, Pisa, London, the English Midlands, Madrid, Zurich, Portugal, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Austria, Belgium and the Netherlands during the first half of 2010.[20] In October 2010, 250 units were made available for field testing in several cities in the United States. Testing also was conducted in Canada; and in 2011 in selected markets in Asia.[1][20]

2011 Smart ED2 frontal view
2011 Smart ED2 rear view

Phase three of the program is mass production, which was scheduled to begin with the 2012 model year. In the United States sales were scheduled to begin in 2012 with the 2013 model year.[1][2] In July 2011 an agreement was reached between Daimler AG and Robert Bosch GmbH to develop and produce innovative traction motors for electric vehicles. Based on this joint venture, Daimler planned to use the improved traction motors with the third generation of Smart electric drive cars scheduled to go on sale in 2012.[24]


  • Power: 20 kW (27 hp) continuous; peak power output of 30 kW (40 hp) for approximately 2 minutes[20]
  • Torque: 120 newton-metres (89 lbf⋅ft)
  • Battery capacity: 16.5 kWh lithium-ion battery
  • Economy: 12 kWh/100 km, also reported to be 200 W·h/mi[20]
  • Range: 135 kilometres (84 miles) on the (NEDC cycle)[1]
  • Top speed: 100 kilometres per hour (62 miles per hour)[2]

The lithium-ion battery pack took three hours to charge from 20 to 80 percent of its capacity with a standard 230 V outlet. It could also be charged using a common US household 120 V outlet.[1] The car has a 3.3 kW on-board charger for this AC charging.[20] Smart claims a 0–60 km/h (0–37 mph) time of 6.5 seconds, the same as for the gasoline version.[2] It has a single fixed-gear ratio transmission and is about 308 lb (140 kg) heavier than a gasoline-powered Fortwo.[20]

Markets and sales


Over 2,300 units of the second generation models were leased between 2009 and October 2012 in 18 markets around the world.[3] Of these, 1,721 units were registered in Europe through October 2012,[25] and 527 units in the U.S. through December 2012.[26][27]

United States


The trial program in the US began in January 2011 with the first customer delivery in Washington, D.C.[28] A total of 250 units were made available for leasing at a price of US$599 per month for a period of 48 months and 60,000 kilometres (37,282 mi), plus $2,500 due at signing. This pricing is before taxes or any government tax credits or rebates available.[20] The limited fleet of second-generation Smart Fortwo electric drive cars was introduced first in Portland, Oregon, Los Angeles, San Jose, California, Orlando, Florida, Austin, Detroit, Indianapolis and the Interstate 95 corridor between Washington, D.C., and Boston, including New Jersey and New York.[20][23]

Smart ED recharging at a SemaConnect charging station

In July 2011, Car2Go announced the deployment of a fleet of Smart EDs into carsharing service in San Diego before the end of 2011. The company stated that the carsharing electric cars will have a range of 84 miles (135 km), and, based on their experience with usage in other cities, they will most likely need to be recharged every two or three days. When reserving the electric car online, San Diego Car2Go members are able to see the battery's state of charge, so if the customer wants to go for an extended drive, the option is available to find the right car for that trip.[29]

Monroney label showing United States Environmental Protection Agency's fuel economy and environmental comparison label for the 2011 Smart ED

In November 2011 fleets of 300 Smart EDs each were deployed in San Diego and Amsterdam as part of the Car2Go service.[14][15] As of December 2012, a total of 527 Smart EDs were registered in the US since January 2011, including 300 units deployed for Car2Go in San Diego.[3][26][27]

Considering an energy consumption of 39 kilowatt-hours per 100 miles (22 MJ/km) and a conversion factor of 33.7 kWh of electricity being the energy equivalent of a US gallon of gasoline (32 megajoules to the litre), the US Environmental Protection Agency officially rated the Smart ED combined fuel economy at 87 miles per gallon gasoline equivalent (mpg-e) (2.7 L gasoline equivalent/100 km; 104 mpg-imp gasoline equivalent), 94 mpg‑US (2.5 L/100 km; 113 mpg‑imp) city and 79 mpg‑US (3.0 L/100 km; 95 mpg‑imp) highway.[30] EPA's official all-electric range is 63 miles (101 km),[30] but in favorable conditions in an urban environment at warm temperatures the carmaker claims the Smart Fortwo ED can reach up to 98 miles (158 km).[31] According to Forbes, the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy ranked the Smart ForTwo Electric Drive the "greenest" car for 2014.[32]



A total of 152 Smart EDs were registered in France since 2010 through December 2012.[33]

Third generation


The third-generation Smart electric drive, Smart ED3, was unveiled at the September 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show.[5] Key differences with the second-generation model include a more powerful electric motor with improved acceleration and top speed; a new lithium-ion battery pack, which increased the range to 140 kilometres (87 mi) with a quick-charge option; other new features include an enlarged grille opening, LED daytime running lights, wider door sills, some minor modifications to the rear, fully automatic air conditioning with pollen filter and pre-air conditioning. Several features are controlled remotely through a smart drive application for the iPhone.[5][34]

Third generation, Smart ED3, unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show
Third generation, Smart ED3 at a Car2Go charging station in Stuttgart

In Germany the Smart ED was available for €16,000 (around US$22,400) plus a monthly fee of €60 (US$84) for the battery rental. Online reservations were scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter 2011.[35] In the US pricing started at US$25,750 and US$28,750 for the Soft Top Cabriolet before any applicable government incentives.[7][36] Canadian pricing for the Electric Drive starts at CA$26,990 and the cabriolet version started at CA$29,990.[37]

The third-generation Smart electric drive was released in the US in May 2013 with 60 units delivered that month.[6] Sales in Europe also began in May 2013.[citation needed] Smart planned to mass-produce the electric car with availability in 30 markets worldwide.[4][7]

In February 2014, Smart announced it would be offering the 2014 model year nationwide; the 2013 model was only available in CARB states.[38]

Markets and sales


Global sales of the third generation model reached 4,130 units during 2013.[8] The Smart ED 3 was the top selling plug-in electric car in Germany in 2013, with 2,146 units registered through December 2013,[39] representing 32% of the 6,711 Smarts sold in the country.[40] After the German market, European sales were led by France, with 478 units registered through December 2013.[41] U.S. sales totaled 923 units through December 2013.[42]

Global cumulative sales of the third generation variant reached 6,514 units up to June 2014,[8][9] while combined sales of second and third generation reached 8,814 units as of June 2014.[3][8][9] As of June 2014, combined sales of both generations reached 3,959 units in Germany,[39][43][44][45][46] 2,542 units in the U.S.[26][27][42][47] and 865 units in France.[41]

Smart ForJeremy variation


The Smart ForJeremy is a version of Smart ForTwo electric drive designed by Jeremy Scott. It included bright white body colour, chrome-plated tridion cell, a wing made of transparent fibreglass and decorated with rocket-shaped elements that light up red, wider rear tyres and wider rear wheel arches, wheel rims are shaped like aeroplane propellers, bright chromium-plated "eyebrows" above its front headlights, chromium-plated top half of the mirror caps and the frame around the radiator grille, fine white nappa leather upholstery at instrument panel, seats and door trim; diamond stitching at seat insert areas and the centre panels in the doors, bright chromium-plated side air inlets.[citation needed]

The vehicle was unveiled on the eve of the LA Auto Show at Jim Henson Studios in Los Angeles, with music provided by the artist M.I.A.[citation needed]

Production version was planned in 2013 in limited quantities.[48]



Fourth generation

Smart EQ Fortwo (then known as Smart Fortwo ED) at Geneva Motor Show 2017

The fourth-generation model,[10] based on the C453, was made available for sale in the US on 9 August 2017, as a 2017 model; European sales started earlier the same year.[12] The gasoline model was no longer for sale in Canada and the US after the 2017 model year. With the new body and the Renault/Mercedes Edison Platform, it is available with electric drive and a 17.6 kWh battery. It has an EPA Certified range of 58 miles (93 km). The charge rate is 7.2 kW. Also available as a cabriolet, it is the only current production electric convertible in the world.[54]

The model was later renamed as Smart EQ Fortwo in 2018 as Daimler started to use EQ brand for electric car lineup.[55]

A facelifted model was unveiled in 2019, for the 2020 model year.[56]

Smart EQ Forfour

Smart EQ Forfour, post-facelift
Smart EQ Forfour, post-facelift (rear)

Starting from this generation, the electric Smart is also available as a 5-door hatchback. The Smart EQ Forfour is a battery electric variant of the Smart Forfour, powered by a 60 kW motor.[57] Just like its ICE counterpart, it shares its platform with the Renault Twingo and is manufactured in Novo Mesto, Slovenia. The battery capacity is 17.6 kWh, out of which 16.7 kWh is usable.[citation needed] Its electricity consumption is 13.1 kWh/100 km, therefore equating to a range of 127.48 km.

Essential importance for Tesla Motors


Although Tesla Motors was not directly involved in the development of the final Smart ED3 purchase model, the Daimler partnership concerning the Smart ED2[17] was essential for Tesla. Elon Musk said at the 2016 Tesla shareholder meeting: "If we hadn’t done that [the Daimler cooperation],[58] Tesla would have died because the Daimler partnership gave us credibility, that a major OEM was willing to work with us, and they also paid us for the [Smart ED2] development program which is really helpful from a revenue standpoint". "Without that investment, Tesla would have been game over".[59]


See also



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  2. ^ a b c d Michael Austin (June 2010). "2011 Smart Fortwo Electric Drive – First Drive Review". Car and Driver. Archived from the original on 12 June 2010. Retrieved 10 June 2010.
  3. ^ a b c d e Jeffrey N. Ross (3 October 2012). "Smart ForTwo Electric Drive will be cheapest EV at $25,000*". Autoblog.com. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  4. ^ a b c "Third-generation smart fortwo electric drive to launch worldwide in spring 2012; first use of battery packs from Daimler JV Deutsche Accumotive and motor from JV EM-motive". Green Car Congress. 16 August 2011. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  5. ^ a b c d Eric Loveday (16 August 2011). "2012 Smart Fortwo Electric Drive hits 75 mph, whizzes to 60 in 13 seconds". AutoblogGreen. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
  6. ^ a b Jay Cole (5 May 2013). "Another EV Hits US Shores, As Smart Sells 60 ForTwo Electric Drive Mini-Cars in May". InsideEVs. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  7. ^ a b c Karla Sanchez (4 October 2012). "Smarter Car: 2013 Smart Fortwo Electric Drive Starts at $25,750 – Photos Galore". Motor Trend. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  8. ^ a b c d e Jose Pontes (30 January 2014). "World Top 20 December 2013 (Special Edition)". EV Sales. Retrieved 6 February 2014.
  9. ^ a b c d Jose Pontes (30 July 2014). "World Top 20 June 2014 (Special Edition)". EV Sales. Retrieved 2 August 2014. A total of 2,384 Smart EDs were sold worldwide in the first half of 2014.
  10. ^ a b "World premiere for the fourth generation smart electric drive: Electrification of all smart models".
  11. ^ "Der smart electric drive jetzt bei ROSIER".
  12. ^ a b "Smart ForTwo, ForFour Electric Drive go on sale in Germany".
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  15. ^ a b "Daimler's car2go launches large-scale all-electric vehicle car-sharing fleet in Amsterdam". Green Car Congress. 27 October 2011. Retrieved 18 November 2011.
  16. ^ "Vancouver Twinning Relationships" (PDF). City of Vancouver. Retrieved 5 December 2009.
  17. ^ a b "smart fortwo electric drive: The new generation smart with electric drive". DAIMLER press release. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  18. ^ "Electric Drivetrain Case Study - SmartCar".
  19. ^ Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield (16 September 2015). "Report: Next-Generation Smart ForTwo Electric Drive Will Feature Renault-Made Motors". Transport Evolved. Archived from the original on 2 August 2017. Retrieved 29 August 2017.
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  22. ^ ""e-mobility Berlin" delivers smart solutions for electric mobility". Daimler AG. 17 December 2009. Retrieved 10 June 2010.
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  25. ^ Justin Aschard (30 November 2012). "Inmatriculations VP et VUL Europe 18 à fin Oct. 2012 (2010–2012)" [Registrations of passenger cars and utility vehicles in Europe 18 through October 2012 (2010–2012)] (PDF) (in French). France Mobilité Électrique. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 October 2013. Retrieved 10 February 2013.
  26. ^ a b c "December 2011 Dashboard: Sales Still Climbing". HybridCARS.com. 9 January 2012. Archived from the original on 12 January 2012. Retrieved 11 January 2012. A total of 388 units were registered in 2011.
  27. ^ a b c Jeff Cobb (8 January 2013). "December 2012 Dashboard". HybridCars.com and Baum & Associates. Retrieved 10 February 2013. See the section: December 2012 Plug-in Electric Car Sales Numbers
  28. ^ Nick Chambers (27 January 2011). "Smart USA Delivers First ForTwo Electric Car—Also Available as a Convertible". PluginCars.com. Retrieved 27 January 2011.
  29. ^ Sebastian Blanco (14 July 2011). "In depth: Car2go goes electric in San Diego". AutoblogGreen. Retrieved 14 July 2011.
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  34. ^ a b "Third-generation smart fortwo electric drive to launch worldwide in spring 2012; first use of battery packs from Daimler JV Deutsche Accumotive and motor from JV EM-motive". Green Car Congress. 16 August 2011. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
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  40. ^ Trefis Team (3 June 2014). "How Daimler Could Capitalize on China's Push For EV/HEVs". Forbes. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
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  42. ^ a b Cole, Jay (6 January 2014). "December 2013 Plug-In Electric Vehicle Sales Report Card". InsideEvs.com. Retrieved 6 February 2014.
  43. ^ Justin Aschard (30 November 2012). "Inmatriculations VP et VUL Allemagne à fin Oct. (2010–2012) 2012" [Registrations of passenger cars and utility vehicles in Germany through October 2012 (2010–2012)] (PDF) (in French). France Mobilité Électrique. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 October 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2014. A total of 106 Smart EVs were registered in Germany in 2010.
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  46. ^ Jose Pontes (14 July 2014). "Germany June 2014". EV Sales. Retrieved 2 August 2014. A total of 645 Smart EDs were sold in Germany in the first half of 2014.
  47. ^ Jeff Cobb (2 July 2014). "June 2014 Dashboard". HybridCars.com and Baum & Associates. Retrieved 2 July 2014. A total of 1,092 Smart EDs were sold in the U.S. during the first half of 2014. See section: "U.S. Battery Electric sales for June 2014"
  48. ^ Fashion designer Jeremy Scott gives Smart Fortwo Electric some wing bling
  49. ^ Thomas Frankenstein (22 June 2012). "Fahrspaß für die City der Elektro-smart in seinem Element". E-Mags Media GmbH. Retrieved 5 September 2017.
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  54. ^ SMART Electric Drive on YouTube by Fully Charged (data at 6:30)
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  56. ^ "The facelift of the smart EQ has arrived". 4 September 2019.
  57. ^ "smart forfour electric drive". www.smart.com. Archived from the original on 20 September 2017.
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  59. ^ Steven Loveday (8 June 2016). "Turns Out Tesla Actually Made An Electric Smart Fortwo That Could Do Wheelies". InsideEVs.com. Retrieved 19 August 2017.