If ever there was a car that felt like a natural partner for electric power, this is it.
Already superbly efficient, lightweight and brilliantly packaged, the Smart is the ultimate city runabout.
Combine this with electric power and you should have a pretty convincing green vehicle.
Based on the first generation model, the Smart ed has 30kW output and a top speed of 60 mph, with 0-30 mph in 6.5 seconds – offering even better in-town performance than its petrol-powered stablemate.
A range of up to 70 miles has been achieved.
The electric drivetrain has been produced in the UK by Zytek Group who build it at Fradley, near Litchfield.
A batch of 100 cars began trials last year in London with fleet customers, including the Metropolitan Police, to obtain information on battery usage and performance in everyday conditions. These trials will last for four years.
Because it is effectively only plugged into the mains, the Smart ed achieves the equivalent of 300mpg, saving around 80% of the fuel costs of even a standard, already efficient Smart.
Smart says that because the ed has no engine oil, oil filter, spark plugs or exhaust, and only a handful of moving parts in the driveline, there will be significantly lower servicing and maintenance costs compared to petrol models.
Apart from charging the battery is maintenance free and can last up to 10 years.
With the Smart, you get all the refinement borne of the might of Mercedes-Benz, plus cleaner electric power. And it’s brilliant. Utterly, fantastically brilliant.
If this is the future of urban motoring, I’m right on board. Switch it on and there’s no noise. Once ready to go, you get a cheery little bobbly, whistly noise and nothing else.
This can be a problem with pedestrians as they just don’t hear you coming, but you soon adapt your style to take more care around them. And that can be no bad thing anyway.
As for performance, it accelerates instantaneously, feels sprightly and gives you a happy glow as you whizz along silently.
This is the best Smart you can buy, if you could. Everything about it makes perfect sense. The sooner these cars are available to the masses, the better for all of us.
Max power (kW): 26.4
Max torque (lb-ft/rpm): 92
Max speed (mph): 60
0-30mph (secs): 6.5
Fuel consumption (mpg): 85.6
CO2 emissions (g/km): 0
On sale: Not yet
Price (special lease): £375pm