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Comparison test Mitsubishi i-MiEV against Smart Fortwo ED

Hans-Dieter Seufert
Mitsubishi i-MiEV versus Smart Fortwo ED
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auto motor und sport still has a comparison test with two electric cars not given. So we are dealing with a real premiere here, an opportunity to examine the future of the automotive industry. Mitsubishi and Smart provide the candidates for it. The time of prototypes is finally over, after all, both the M itsubishi i-MiEV and series production of the Smart Fortwo ED has started. Of course, the Stromer is not available at the dealer around the corner - at least not yet. After all, Smart gives selected interested parties in Berlin an idea of ​​what the fun will cost, namely 700 euros a month. You get the ED for four years and you don't have to worry about maintenance, insurance or warranty.

The price of the i-MiEV is the big unknown in this test.

Mitsubishi has not yet worked out a financing concept for Germany, although the four-door will be available at the end of this year. In Japan it currently costs the equivalent of 34,000 euros, but the German version is likely to be more expensive. Costs cannot therefore be assessed in this test, apart from the energy costs, because the power consumption can be measured.

It was precisely with these measurements that a technical problem came to light. An empty drive battery, for example, loads the power grid with around 2.8 kW during charging - for several hours. The publisher's house electrical system was overwhelmed by this, the connection of a fuse strip burned through, and the power supply could only continue when it was freshly wired. So if you want to charge an e-mobile in the future, it is better to have an electrician check beforehand whether the domestic wiring is also designed for this.

What does it mean to run a battery completely empty?

The usual auto motor und sport route to determine consumption is out of the question for the e-mobile, because it is 280 kilometers long, Mitsubishi i-MiEV and Smart Fortwo ED have only 144 respectively, according to the manufacturer A range of 135 kilometers, which is why a new standard round was specially developed for electric cars that meets the requirements of a commuter mobile. In addition to city traffic, this also includes a few kilometers with cross-country character and speeds of up to 90 km /h. The Mitsubishi shows up here a very pleasant side. It not only offers enough space for four adults and bounces nicely for a small car, it also runs extremely quietly. In doing so, it reveals the charm of electromobility: powerful draft meets minimal noise. It is noticeable how loud some other road users are. When the city bus drives off in the lane next door, you are downright frightened.

Both candidates swim easily in traffic

In the Smart, the background noise is that Large public transport vehicles significantly lower. The two-seater apparently has better sound insulation and is still the louder car. It annoys with high-frequency tones, which the human ear perceives as annoying. It whines constantly, and at some speeds the running noise of a - at least dampened - turbo-prop turbine is added. Turbine-like draft, of course, shouldn't be expected, the Smart Fortwo ED only pushes gently forward. Usually only 20 of the maximum 30 kW are called up via the accelerator pedal. Full power is only available when you pedal hard with a heavy foot. Nevertheless, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV pulls away on inclines, even in Eco mode, which only releases 18 kW of a maximum of 47 kW. But both of them swim easily in traffic. Smart drivers sit on the familiar, comfortable seats and enjoy a level of drive comfort that was previously unfamiliar to a two-seater, because there is no manual transmission. Choppy gear changes are not an issue with the Fortwo ED.

In the interior, the difference only becomes apparent through the instrumentation

The charge status of the battery is just as important as the performance of the system, which is reduced as the power supply dwindles becomes. The driver can also find out how much power is being used or whether kinetic energy is being recovered (recuperated) when driving downhill. It is noticeable that rarely more than two or three kW are fed into the lithium-ion battery, it is only more when braking hard. With the i-MiEV, the recuperation can be influenced by moving the hacky gear lever of the single-stage gearbox to B for 'Brake'. The Mitsubishi brakes even on steep slopes without the driver having to do anything. Although vigorously from this possibility during the test drivesWas used, the i-MiEV stopped after driving only 77 kilometers with an empty battery. He had already switched off the electric heating ten kilometers earlier to save electricity, which quickly resulted in frosty temperatures in the car.

The energy costs are at the level of conventional diesel models

The Smart Fortwo ED covered a distance of 106 kilometers on one battery charge, and it also covered the last ten Traveled kilometers without heating. However, one must not forget: The tests were carried out under harsh winter conditions - the electric cars were particularly difficult. Incidentally, at 4.38 euros (i-MiEV) and 4.48 euros (Smart), the e-mobile energy costs for 100 kilometers are not only almost the same; It is particularly remarkable that they are only slightly below those of conventional diesel models. Amortization of the presumably high electric car acquisition costs is almost impossible. In the end, the Smart is not enough to win the test despite the greater range. In comparison, it is not just missing two seats. The Mitsubishi is also simply better in terms of comfort, pulling power and noise. Hopefully it won't be too expensive.

Test scheme with many changes

In the case of e-mobiles, the charging power and with it the charging losses are recorded on the computer. Both provide information about the efficiency of the electricity storage system. Its performance is checked on a 15-kilometer standard route, which has a difference in altitude of about 200 meters and is driven so often until the batteries are empty. Long tunnels on the lap force you to switch on the lighting, which puts additional stress on the memory. How the drive stresses the passengers, on the other hand - annoying, high-frequency tones can be heard in many electric motors - can hardly be checked with a simple noise measurement. Therefore, an additional measurement of the noise spectrum is required.

Measurements of the acceleration from 40 to 60 km /h (elasticity in the city) and additionally from 60 to 100 km /h (elasticity on the country road) determine the torque of the drive. Another point was deviated from the usual test, because the e-mobiles are spared the stresses of ten subsequent braking operations from 100 km /h with a full load.


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