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E-cars in range test: E-Smart suffers from the cold

Reinhard Schmid
E-cars in range test
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D This means that the Smart loses the worst of the four cars tested Range a. The new batteries in the test vehicles suffered not only partially from the loss of capacity as a result of the low temperatures. At the same time, electricity consumption for heating the car and additional electrical consumers increases significantly. At low minus temperatures, an electric interior heater needs up to four kilowatts. With a 16 kilowatt-hour battery, this means that the car's battery will be vacuumed empty in four hours without the car moving.

Smart range drops by 47 percent

The Smart Fortwo ED suffered the greatest losses in the test. At 23 degrees, the car achieved a range of 159 kilometers according to the TÜV Süd driving cycle, beating all its competitors. But the battery system developed by Tesla, which is also used in the Mercedes A-Class and the E-Mini, does not cope well with freezing temperatures. The range fell in the test by 47 percent to just 84 kilometers. The Mitsubishi i-MIEV experienced a similar slump. Even in summer at 23 degrees the range is only moderate at 113 kilometers, at minus 7 degrees it drops by 43 percent to 64 kilometers. No other car misses the factory specifications so clearly.

On the other hand, the MIA Electric, which will hit the market next year for only 19,500 euros, and the over 49,000 euros test winner, the Fiat 500 Karabag, do better. The small MIA Electric does comparatively well, but offers spartan proportions. The range of 100 kilometers at 23 degrees drops only slightly to 93 kilometers in winter. But they are bought by switching off the heating in the tested prototype. The series model should have an electric heater, which is expected to reduce the range by a further 20 percent. The Fiat 500 Karabag showed the best winter suitability in terms of range. His cycling distance fell by only 20 percent from 132 to 105 kilometers.

Additional heating ensures range

This is made possible by protecting the battery, which does not have to heat the car. This is done by a petrol-powered heater from Eberspächer, which uses half a liter of fuel per hour. This allows the Fiat to heat for 15 hours without losing range. However, the resulting exhaust gases are not filtered.


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