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Electric Smart Cars

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion Transportation Electric Smart Cars

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
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  • #1017675
    Chrysee
    Chrysee
    Participant

    Somehow we missed that there’s now a Smart car with an all-electric drive and now it’s caught our interest. Has anyone looked into these, driven one, or does anyone by chance own one? They do not have any in stock and delivery looks like fall at the earliest. It’s range is about 68 miles on a full charge. My husband drives about 12 miles each way and there is a charging station in his parking garage at work. Right now he drives a 19mpg 1999 Jeep Cherokee and it’s only ever him and a small laptop bag in the car.

    If anyone does have a car (any car) that’s all electric, how long is your commute? Do you charge during the day? Does a full charge actually give you the range that is advertised? How much does this change during winter? We were cautioned that sitting out in the cold will drastically reduce the range, so that’s no good. Thoughts on EVs?

    #1017851
    Ned23
    Ned23
    Participant

    I would find a discussion board specific to those cars with people who own them. I pre-ordered a Nissan LEAF but it became clear from the discussion boards of people who had them that No one had ever gotten anywhere near the 100 mile range. And in worse-case scenario, on the freeway, in the cold with the heat on some were seeing closer to 50 miles. At the time I was going to Marysville a couple of weekends per month and decided that the range was a bit to short. They’ve since revised the range on the Nissan to 75-84 miles.

    Of course, SMART may have more accurately rated their range. And there are charging stations popping up around town now, so if you go to Easton, for example, you might find a place to charge.

    Currently I’m looking at plug-in Hybrids like the Volt and C-Max. People with Volts are getting like 1000 miles per tank with regular charging. The Volt is rated for 40 miles on electric and usually gets in the mid 30s, But talking to Volt owners, they also report that in sub-zero temperatures with the heat on it’s more like 25 miles. But you can pre-heat/cool them from your phone while they’re plugged in.

    C-Max is still a little new, and has about half the range of a volt. I haven’t seen the data, but it probably still replaces a lot of gas on short trips.

    #1017856

    Mike88
    Participant

    I don’t have a ton of knowledge on the electric Smart Car but when I was in Amsterdam I drove around in a few, since all of their car to go’s are electric Smart’s, and I will say they’re rather Zippy and drove great around the city.

    #1017871
    Chrysee
    Chrysee
    Participant

    Thanks for the reply. Part of the reason I wanted to ask here specifically is the reality of using an EV in Columbus is going to be pretty different than other places. Locals know our weather and, while charging stations are becoming more common, they’re not all over the place. I don’t need someone in California telling me how easy it is to have an EV ;)

    My husband drives to work (campus) and back up and down High St. about 25 miles every day. So even if our cold winters decrease the range by half, he’d be okay I think.

    I have a regular gasoline car (lil 40mpg Yaris hatchback) and that’s been our primary car. So, the short range doesn’t bother me much because I know it’ll be used as a cheap little commuter car. It’d be a hard sell if I were single and trying to make it my only vehicle.

    #1017877

    Eugene_C
    Participant

    Electric cars right now are still early adopter items, but they’re not going away. Almost every major car company is adding them. GM just added a limited run plug-in Cadillac and is planning a revamped second generation Volt as well as a 200 mile range electric vehicle within the next 5 years. And of course there is Tesla, which proves (for a high enough price) that electric can be an industry-leading technology.

    What’s more important is that just about everyone who owns electric raves about how great they perform and how fun they are to drive, even if the range is too low. So, it’s the early adopter who are willing to tolerate the low range who are really driving the technology (no pun intended).

    #1017888

    Lu
    Participant

    I’m curious – why electric instead of hybrid? In Ohio, isn’t an electric car essentially a coal-powered car?

    #1018763
    Chrysee
    Chrysee
    Participant

    Caved and got a Nissan Leaf last night. It’ll be the husband’s commuter car for up and down High St, ~25 miles a day. So the range is more than enough for our needs.

    And yeah, it is a coal-powered car. At the risk of sounding like an ass, I think our interest was more in the new tech/gadgets are cool/early adopter mentality than an environmental perspective? It’ll be charging at least some of the time on campus and OSU gets a not-totally-insignificant amount of its electricity from wind power?

    #1018771

    laxmidd50
    Participant

    Even with entirely coal-generated electricity, electric cars are STILL cleaner than gas. Small combustion engines are that inefficient.

    #1072099
    Chrysee
    Chrysee
    Participant

    Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but just in case this info is helpful to anyone else..

    We’ve had a Nissan Leaf for almost a year now and it’s great. My husband has a short commute and can charge at work when he needs to (about every 3 days when the weather is temperate). We can drive it up to Delaware to see his family and back without needing to charge, though we may occasionally plug it in to their house because they don’t mind. The 80-100 mile range is pretty accurate for city driving. It drops significantly on the highway and is very affected by cold weather. If you need to drive 50-60 miles every day without charging while parked, this is not the best car for you with Ohio’s winters. When you can find a place to park that has a charging station, you’re almost guaranteed a good spot (at least, until they become more popular). The charging spots at Easton may be full sometimes, but we’ve never not been able to park in the EV spot on Goodale. The lease will be up around the time Tesla is supposedly releasing its 30-40k model, so there’s that to look forward to. ;)

    #1072114
    spfld_expat
    spfld_expat
    Participant

    Setting aside the electric aspect, how do you like the Leaf? Drive, interior comfort, other features, etc.?

    Would you buy the Leaf if it was a standard IC car?

    I can’t wait until that 30-40k Tesla has been out for a few years, so I can get a nice used one.

    #1072526
    Chrysee
    Chrysee
    Participant

    Setting aside the electric aspect, how do you like the Leaf? Drive, interior comfort, other features, etc.?

    Would you buy the Leaf if it was a standard IC car?

    I can’t wait until that 30-40k Tesla has been out for a few years, so I can get a nice used one.

    Sorry for the delay!

    I like the Leaf. There are plenty of seriously-into-cars types over at Jalopnik that really hate it. But I really like it and I think it’s comfortable, spacious, the interior is nice, etc. It’s a very comfy, very quiet ride. It has seat warmers (front and back) and a steering wheel warmer and that’s nice, though I know it’s there because the actual heater for the car is slow to warm up and drains the battery quite a bit. It’s nav system and touchscreen seem pretty standard. I have Apple CarPlay in my own car and I definitely prefer it, but the Leaf’s system seems comparable to other new cars. It also did just fine this winter. Other than having somewhat hindered battery range in low temperatures, it performed just fine in the ice and snow.

    I would absolutely buy it as a standard car. Or if they ever made it a hybrid similar to the Chevy Volt (use exclusively battery and then switch to gas for longer trips. I’d only ever use gas on occasional weekends!). I like hatchbacks and I like how the Leaf looks and its overall design and size. It has a surprising amount of cargo space so I kinda wish it was a car we could take on longer trips. It would easily and comfortably seat 4 adults with a good amount of luggage space. We had a friend, who drives a standard sedan, who was moving and needed help moving an amp and a dresser. It wouldn’t fit in his car, it wouldn’t fit in my hatchback hybrid, but they both fit in my husband’s Leaf.

    Now, I will say that other cars we have owned have included a Jeep Cherokee and Toyota Tacoma from the late 90s, a 2001 Hyundai Accent, a 2009 Toyota Yaris, and now a 2014 Prius c, so maybe I just don’t know what a nice car even is!

    If you’re even a little bit interested, go look at one and test drive it. We knew we wanted an electric vehicle and it was going to be just for commuting, so we originally fine with sacrificing size and other comforts. We were really pleasantly surprised at how much of a “real car” the Leaf is.

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