SMART EQ FORTWO CABRIO
www.electrichybridvehicletechnology.com // July 2019 // 37
Giving the Tesla Model 3 a run
for its money, the fully-electric
e-Niro claims a range of 455 km
(282 miles) on a single charge
based on the WLTP combined
cycle. Remarkably, this is all from
just a 64kWh lithium-ion polymer
battery. While other EVs have much
larger batteries the e-Niro is able
to produce these types of fi gures
thanks to a masterclass in energy
management and regeneration.
Driving aids politely tell you the
best way to drive more effi ciently
and also when it’s a good time to
take your foot off the accelerator
and coast so the battery regen
system can take over. The
crossover’s ride is light and sprightly
in its default Eco mode with the
204ps electric motor getting you
from 0-100km/h in 7.8 seconds with
395Nm torque. On some roads the
ride is quite bouncy, but sport mode
tightens the dynamics and steering.
With support for a 100kW charge,
you’ll get an 80% in just under
an hour, while it’ll take around 75
minutes using a 50kW fast charger.
While the premium OEMs are
giving the EV industry plenty of
good PR with fancy electrifi cation
offerings, it’s perhaps this moreaffordable
package that is going to
have more infl uence to convince
the masses to sign-up to go electric.
Just look at the waiting lists if you
don’t believe us.
RANGE ROVER SPORT P400E
Having recently been given a US$619m
(£500m) loan from the UK government
backing JLR’s electrifi cation plans, the
brand has been given a boost for future
EVs. However, it’s already made headway,
with the introduction of a plug-in hybrid
to the Range Rover Sport, which is the
brand’s fi rst ever PHEV.
A 13.1kWh battery and 85kW electric
motor is paired with a 2-0-liter, fourcylinder,
Ingenium petrol engine, but before
anyone thinks the Sport moniker is going
‘soft’, just look at the numbers: it produces
410ps, hits 0-100km/h in 6.7 seconds (0-
60mph in only 6.3 seconds), and delivers
a thumping 640Nm of combined torque. To
put that in perspective, that’s quicker than
the 4.0-liter V8 and more torque than the
3.0-liter V6 – all from a 2.0-liter engine.
In all-electric mode it’s said to be good
for 50km (31 miles), naturally we were
getting in the high 20s around town,
and travels at speeds of up to 137km/h
(85mph). It’s quite eerie to experience
a Range Rover gliding around in total
silence but it’s also extremely satisfying.
The sharpness from standstill the electric
power provided was welcomed in busy
urban traffi c and we think the Sport PHEV
is best positioned for owners who mostly
do town or city driving. Hit the highway
and once charge is sapped, having to haul
around the extra weight of the prismshaped
lithium-ion battery mounted
beneath the trunk becomes a drain on fuel.
Charge time from 0-100% is just under
three hours from a 7kW wallbox, and we
loved the save function that allows drivers
to manage how they use their electric use
as they drive was another great thoughtout
feature to make hybrid life easier.
Add these positives to the ridiculous tax
savings this PHEV offers as a result of
emitting 64g/km CO² and the Sport PHEV
becomes a really attractive compared to
its ICE variants.
It’s the smallest, cheapest, slowest, and has the
shortest range of all on test here, but the Smart
EQ fortwo is without doubt the most fun we had.
Though this statement comes with a caveat.
With a 17.6kWh battery and range of less than
112km (70 miles), this is a city-going EV and driving
in busy traffi c in this diminutive EV was a more
joyful experience. Then, recharging to capacity in
around 40 minutes via a wallbox, while we grabbed
a coffee plays into the urban lifestyle ownership.
But outside of this environment and its limitations
are really highlighted.
The three-phase synchronous electric motor
ekes out 83ps and a top speed of only 128km/h
(80mph), so highway driving is a strain. The cabrio
version we had added to the fun factor, and in terms
of competition, it owns its segment. For what it is,
it’s good at what it does.