Test Drive of the week: Smart Fortwo

The car is a small, compact two-seater. It is easy to get into and feels spacious inside.
The interior is not really basic; it feels slightly luxurious. The upholstery was a nice patterned grey colour and the dashboard and side doors were also shades of grey.

The dashboard is very clean and easy to read. The GPS seems quite sophisticated and is inlaid, like a TV set.

It starts up just like a normal car. There are only three speeds: neutral, drive and reverse–very simple. You don’t have to press very hard to accelerate. The car will go from 0 to 30mph in 6.5 seconds, and has an electronically limited top speed of 60 mph. Of course, there is no sound when driving since it is electric.

It drives easily and responsively. We drove on a test track with lots of winding roads and a traffic-free straight away and it was a peppy, but not really speedy, ride.

It has a lithium battery which is included in the cost price and should last 8 to 10 years. It also has ESP, ABS brakes two airbags and seat belt pre-tensioners, and also features a NCAP tested tridion safety cell. It is air-conditioned which is a nice, although not that necessary, plus. The 30kW electric motor is built by Zytek Automotive, a UK technology company.

As the first step of its electric drive program, smart has been running 100 demonstration vehicles in the United Kingdom since 2007. The series production of the smart fortwo electric drive has now started with 1,000 vehicles, which will be run in both Europe- starting by the end of 2009- and the United States- starting in the second half of 2010 in several cities. The series production in large numbers will start for model year 2012 vehicles, which can be bought in all smart centers.

The smart fortwo electric drive will be equipped with a 16.5 kWh lithium-ion battery powering a 30 kW motor positioned over the rear drive wheels. The battery can be charged with either 100V or 220V systems and will require between 3.5 and 8 hours of charging time, depending on the voltage used and the starting state of the battery charge. An 85 mile range is anticipated.

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What Is An Electric Car?

An electric car is, quite simply, an automobile that is powered by electricity. These cars usually look just like their gasoline-guzzling counterparts, at least on the outside. This is especially true of gasoline-powered cars that are converted into electric cars. However, there is one thing that may serve to make identifying an electric car easier, even before taking a look under the hood. Sound can help in identification, as electric cars are practically silent.

If you look under the hood of an electric car, you’ll see some major differences from what you could expect to see under the hood of a gasoline-powered car. An electric car has an electric motor and a controller for powering the motor. Rechargeable batteries are used to provide power to the controller. In comparison to traditional cars, electric cars have more wires. Gas-powered cars, on the other hand, have an abundance of hoses, pipes, and fuel lines.

Many people think the electric car is a new invention. This is a misconception, as they’ve been around for many years. In fact, electric cars were among the first automobiles and dominated the market at one point in time. In the early years of the twentieth century, electric cars held records for both speed and distance over land.

The electric car is gaining in popularity once more as people search for ways to cut transportation costs and reduce pollution. However, electric cars tend to be pricey in comparison to traditional gas-powered vehicles. Many predict that costs will eventually decrease in response to higher production volumes and improvements in the manufacturing process.

Another factor is convenience. In one trip to the gas station, you can pump 330 kilowatt-hours of energy into a 10-gallon tank. It would take about 9 days to get the same amount of energy from household electric current. Fortunately, it takes hours and not days to recharge an electric car, because it’s much more efficient. Speaking of convenience, let’s not forget two important points: charging up at home means never going to a gas station—and electric cars require almost none of the maintenance, like oil changes and emissions checks, that internal combustion cars require.

If you’re interested in purchasing an electric car, you might choose to buy one that has been converted from a gas-powered vehicle. There are companies that specialize in converting cars, as well as businesses that sell electric car conversion kits. However, an individual should do research before buying such a kit to ensure that the converted vehicle meets federal crash safety standards.

If you want to find & Compare Top electric cars of the year click here

Owning an Electric Car

Did you ever think about  own an electric car? If you want to know about the whole issue about electric cars and before rushing out to buy your new car,  you need take a look to this book.

The book has been written with input from hundreds of people from all around the world. From Bangalore to Paris, from Los Angeles to London, electric car owners have contributed their opinions and their experiences – both good and bad – to help you make an informed choice about choosing your next car.

This book is full of factual, relevant information without the ‘techno-babble’ that all to often takes over the debate about electric cars. Where I feel it is relevant, I do talk about the different technologies that make up an electric car, but only in order to help you make an informed decision about owning and using one.

In just under 200 pages, Mr. Boxwell covers everything from dealing with range fixation to exactly how “green” an electric is when it’s charged from a coal-powered grid. You can also learn which new vehicles are coming to market or what to look for when if your potential purchase is previously owned. To get a sneak peek at the first chapter, learn a bit about the electric vehicles and even ask him a question directly.

for more info and buy the book click here