ElectraGirl: Five Things You Might Not Know About the 2015 Smart Electric Drive

Saturday 7th February 2015

We have had our new 2015 Smart Electric Drive for a week now and have already found a few things that, even one of the dealers swore wasn’t available!

2015 Smart Wraps Header

Here are Five Six things you may not know about the Smart ED.

1. Pre-conditioning is built in

Our first Electric Car that get too hot!

Our first Electric Car that gets too hot!

I so like the fact that I can pre-condition my EV’s without idling. In the Smart Electric Drive it doesn’t take long to warm up the car as it’s well insulated and small, so it’s toasty warm in just a few minutes. We’ve actually found that the car gets so warm that we are driving around with the heater set on the lowest level. To pre-condition, you can set the departure time on the dash display or…

2. It has a Mobile Web App (that works on the desktop too)

… on the App! I can also see my state of charge, miles to empty, approximately how long it will take to charge, whether the climate control is on or off. There is also an eco display that lets me know how I have been driving – good to see how the child has been driving! Plus, a route planner that factors in topological data to make sure I know how far I can go with my current range.

3. The front passenger seat folds flat

The front passenger seat can be folded down flat therefore increasing your boot space for your extra luggage or purchases. Not much good if you have a passenger though! If you do have a passenger then I am sure they would be more than happy to hold those extra purchases for you. We were able to get one week of shopping in the boot – just. It was touch and go with the toilet rolls though!

A 14x14 pop-up tent frame loaded into the Smart

A 10’x10′ pop-up tent frame loaded into the Smart


Oh, and 3a, you can sit on that open hatch, if you’d like to.

4. It has adjustable regenerative braking


The three-spoke steering wheel with recuperation paddles is a rare option

The three-spoke steering wheel with recuperation paddles is a rare option

It can be ordered with a three-spoke steering wheel and “Recuperation Paddles” so you can adjust the regenerative breaking from zero (coasting) to stage 2, 60% regenerative power. Although it would be nice to have the full regen as standard, the cars without the paddles default to stage 1, 30% regenerative power. I am missing the strong regen I have become accustomed to. It does have some regen on the accelerator and also some on the brake, but I have been so spoilt with the MINI E and the Active and now the i3. We tried to find a car with this option but alas, there were none.

5. It has interchangeable body panels

Smart Body Panels in Yellow

Fancy a Yellow Smart today?

The skin of the car is made of polycarbonate panels that can be removed within minutes and exchanged for different coloured panels at your smart centre or even at home. Ooh does that mean I can have, flowers, hearts – maybe?


Perhaps a wrap?



Last but not least:

6. It’s tougher than you might think

Small cars aren’t safe, that’s why I drive an SUV.” “I wouldn’t let my children drive one.” “The Smart wouldn’t work for me as I need to drive on the highway.” – Just a few of the ill-informed comments that I’ve heard. Mercedes, who make the Smart, wouldn’t be silly enough to make a car that was dangerous would they? Would they go on to sell it in 46 countries? Would it continue to sell in good numbers for over 17 years? I don’t think so.

Since its birth in 1998, the Smart introduced the very visible Tridion Safety Cell that surrounds the occupants. It’s very much like the roll cage you might find in a racing car. Most of the bodywork simply hangs off the safety cell. It’s this egg like cell that protects the occupants and why it gets as high as a five-star rating for drivers side impact by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – that’s higher than most cars and why it was featured in the New York Museum of Modern Art in 2002.

The ‘Pole Test’ is a nasty simulation of a very typical real-word accident. It records what happens when you lose control and slide into a narrow object such as a tree or a pole. Approximately one quarter of all serious-to-fatal injuries in Europe happen in side impact collisions and many of these injuries occur when one car runs into the side of another or into a fixed narrow object such as a tree or pole.

Here’s how the Smart Electric Drive handles the Pole Test, I’ve fast-forwarded to the slow-motion part of the video to see how the pole impacts the driver, as we pick up the action, we’re sliding sideways into a pole…

It’s not nice. The first thought might be “get a bigger, safer car” right? Well, in the test above, I’d say the driver would be pretty shaken, but let’s see what happens in a “nice big, safe” 2014 Chevy Silverado 1500 / GMC Sierra 1500 (Crew Cab)…

Like the Smart, the drivers head hits the airbag but in the SUV, the pole just keeps coming in until it hits the driver directly.

How about a “giant, super-safe” Ford Expedition?

…The pole came right into the passenger compartment.

2015 Honda CR-V does a little better before the roof folds up and it drops the insides on the driver…

2015 BMW X3 is a bit better but still, the pole penetrates the passenger compartment more than it does in the Smart…

Same with the 2015 BMW X5…

Even though the Smart suffers in the crash test, it does fair better than the other cars. What we see is that, contrary to popular belief, it holds up as well or better than any “big, safe” SUV. Add to that the biggest difference; the Smart is lighter, more nimble and stops faster so, you’re less likely to be involved in an accident in the first place, and that’s how I like to end a story.

Thanks to CrashNet1.com for compiling those. You can see more pole tests at their YouTube Channel. Plus the same story with frontal impacts… that Tridion Safety Cell is tough.


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  • Been following you on your electric Smart Car journey, sounds like you are having fun. nI drive a gas Smart Cabrio, its a blast. Looked (and lusted) at the electric version, but honestly cant find the money in it just now. nnWanted to comment on this blog about the safety aspect you raise. I get sooooo sick of people saying their honking big gas guzzlers are so much safer than my little Smartty. The videos you posted really point out just how that is not true!nnThanks!nhttp://instagram.com/thebaldgeek

  • lad76

    But, can you get the EV model to stop fast? about 55 secs in…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLtMh20qIp8&list=RDQMPuUpIEI5O5g&index=19

    • Michael Thwaite

      Cool! Now that’s what I call big braking!

  • Andy

    While vehicle structure & safety devices can help, the physics says a heavier vehicle with the ocupants higher up will generally fare better in a crash. Euro NCAP give the smart 4 stars and offer this advice: n”In real life, when two cars collide the vehicle with the higher mass has an advantage over the lighter one. Generally speaking, vehicles with higher structures tend to fare better in accidents than those with lower structures. Therefore, ratings are comparable only between cars of similar mass and with broadly similar structures … cars which are within 150kg of one another are considered comparable.” http://www.euroncap.com/Content-Web-Page/0f3bec79-828b-4e0c-8030-9fa8314ff342/comparable-cars.aspxnnThey're also quite negative about it’s side pole results “in the side pole test, dummy readings of rib compression revealed weak protection against chest injury. Euro NCAP observed also that the pole impactor came extremely close to striking the dummy’s head”

    • Koenigsegg

      Real world driving Smarts for 3 years says no accidents have occurred therefore your blah blah blah rant about the car not being safe is nothing but blabbering, its a mini tank designed by Mercedes-Benz. It is very safe, if it wasn’t safe then why is it on the road? Its safer than most midsize cars and trucks.

      I drive my Smart everyday worry free, so keep saying its not safe while i’ll keep driving it and continue to live a funner life than you 😉

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