Smart electrifies all round

September 23, 2016 § Leave a comment

smart fortwo electric drive; Exterieur: schwarz; Interieur: schwarz ;Elektrischer Energieverbrauch gewichtet: 12,9 kWh/100km ; CO2-Emissionen kombiniert: 0 g/km smart fortwo electric drive; exterior: black; interior: black; Electric power consumption, weighted: 12.9 kWh/100km; CO2 emissions combined: 0 g/km

Hooray! Here’s the ideal iteration of the Smart city cars: all fourth-generation models, including the four-seater ForFour, are now offered in electric-drive form, with European sales from early next year. Motive power is 60 kW/160Nm, giving a claimed range of up to 160km, and 22kW fast-charging capacity can give a full charge (three-phase) in less than 45 minutes, depending on local supply [2.5 hours in UK/Euro spec, however]. Two-seater Smarts are built in Hambach, Germany, and the four-seater in Novo Mesto, Slovenia; they feature batteries from Daimler subsidiary Accumotive (Saxony), and drive systems from Renault in Clèon, Northern France. There’s an eco mode with max energy recuperation, boosted by a radar sensor to predict oncoming traffic slowdowns and suchlike, as well as pre-heating/cooling and remote-monitoring apps. More details and spec here.

amber-oneAnother ride-share service with a purpose-designed vehicle: Amber Mobility plans to offer a 33-euro weekly subscription to use the Amber One, a  650kg EV said to have a 250-mile range, a top speed of 93mph, 0-60mph in around seven seconds, ‘modularity’ for easy updates and upgrades and potential autonomous-driving capabilities. Prototyping next year, a small production run in 2018, apparently. Amber’s Corporate Mobility trial programme [using BMW i3s, to start with] is set to begin next month in the Netherlands, based around a hub in Eindhoven. More at Electrek.
  • The latest BMW-Bosch-Vattenfall second-life battery energy storage project is now being tested in Hamburg: this has 2MW, 2800 kWhr capacity in 2,600 battery modules from over 100 EVs, and is being evaluated for its role in achieving grid stability. It’s delivering ‘primary control reserve power’ on demand, but could, theoretically, supply enough energy to power a two-person household for seven months.
  • An oft-requested service/function: ChargePoint [US] has introduced Waitlist, which enables EV drivers to ‘line up’ for a public charging point which is in use. Drivers can use a phone app or RFID card to indicate that they want to charge, and reminders will be sent to drivers when their car has finished charging or reached a time/energy limit to make the point available [like ChargeBump]. It’s been tested with 30 point providers serving 14,000 drivers, and ChargePoint reports that it increased point utilisation by 20% on average, and by 45% at busy stations – efficiencies are being achieved. More here.
  •  Looking forward to seeing this Volkswagen EV concept next week at the Paris motor show; it’s said to promise a 250-300 mile range and 15-minute fast-charging, and will go into production in 2019. Though having a conventional steel body, it’s said to pack Passat-like interior space into a Golf-sized hatchback body, easily accessed via sliding rear doors. To be fully-connected with a transferable Volkswagen ID app for settings and preferences, too.
  • But on an even more practical – and here-and-now – note, Volkswagen is continuing to try and redeem itself post-#dieselgate by selling the e-Crafter van from next year. This commercial vehicle can shift over 1700kg, has a range of over 200km, and has unimpaired cargo capacity.
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