We put our 2015 Smart ForTwo EV through its toughest test yet!
In this episode of our Loveland Trials series, we take our 2015 Smart ForTwo EV 75 miles to the summit of the Loveland Pass. This is one of the most difficult EV tests out there as it requires two things that are difficult for most EVs, highway driving (lack of regenerative braking lowers range) and up-hill climbs.
We’ve done this test several times with mixed results. This time, Tommy, driving the Smart ForTwo EV, and Roman, driving our LR3 with trailer – tackle the challenge together. Here’s the rub: Our Smart EV has an EPA-rated range of just 68 miles. That’s based on city driving as well, which doesn’t help its case here. Its tiny 17.6 kWh battery contains only 16.7 kWh of usable energy, so the chances of the Smart making it there and back is zero.
Still, it’s worth a shot to see if the Smart can make it up to the summit, right?
It will de-rate its power output at a certain point. 20 percent, the Smart will cut the power to preserve range. At 10 percent, it “becomes a snail,” according to Tommy.
To canyon – or not to canyon?
One of the most difficult decisions to makes is where the duo may need to stop to load the depleted EV. The whole point of dragging the trailer up and down the hill is specifically to grab the Smart EV when its no longer able to carry on. It is not as easy as you might think. Loading on the highway would be easiest, IF there is a shoulder handy. The I-70 leading to the Loveland pass is almost always under construction. Shoulder space can be an issue.
Stalling on the highway is an issue too. The last thing we want to be is a hindrance on a major highway. Hence, exiting the highway when the charge gets low is the best bet.
Loading a vehicle on to a trailer in a canyon is a pain in the neck. For one thing, there are only a few pull-outs that can easily accommodate a vehicle and trailer’s length. There are very few usable shoulders/pull-offs on whet few straight sections there are. And, if the Smart EV dies in the middle of the road, traffic could be compromised in both directions.
It’s a bot of a challenge for the boys, and they have to make a lot of decisions on the fly.
Check out the video above to see how they do! Stay tuned for more Loveland Trials videos coming very soon.