The future starts now – and it belongs to electric vehicles like the smart electric drive. Now, our electrifying dictionary throws a spotlight on the key terms that define e-mobility.

Anyone who’s ever taken a turn behind the wheel of an electric vehicle will never forget this unique driving experience. Astounding acceleration meets super-silent operation. One thing is for certain: Electric vehicles will drive and shape the future of mobility. And we will soon use these key e-mobility terms as casually as “googling,” “posting,” or “tweeting.”


While the power itself comes from an outlet or charging station, there are several different international adapters for connecting the vehicle’s charging cable. In Europe, the type-2 plug has been standard for alternating current (AC) since 2013. It is optimized for three-level charging: “Level 1” involves charging at domestic power outlets (up to 3.7 kW), “level 2” supports charging capacities of up to 22 kW, while “level 3” offers fast charging above 20 kW.

A person is charging a smart electric drive


The battery is the heart of any electric vehicle. It provides the energy to supply the electric engine and all other functions like radio, headlights, or electric windows with the necessary power. The term “battery capacity” denotes a battery’s power absorbing capacity, i. e. 17.6 kWh in the smart electric drive models. Battery capacity significantly affects the car’s overall range, i. e. the distance the electric vehicle can travel before the next charging process.

charging stations

A charging station is where electric vehicles can charge their batteries. Since 2013, the type-2 plug has been standard across the European Union. Almost all industrial nations are currently expanding their public charging networks.

a smart electric drive is charging in a car park

charging time

The overall charging time of an electric vehicle depends on its charging source. While it takes six hours to charge a smart electric drive to 80 percent at a domestic power outlet, this period drops to 3.5 hours when using a wallbox. In spring 2018, smart will release a fast charger for the smart electric drive models rated 22 kW, which will cut charging to 80 percent down to a mere 45 minutes.

screen shows percentage of batterie of a smart electric drive


While roofless driving is by no means the sole domain of electric vehicles, the smart cabrio electric drive remains the world’s only e-powered mass-produced convertible, giving drivers an even more intense, immersive experience of their favorite urban spots. The stepless sliding tritop canvas sunroof can be opened or closed in a flash – even while the car is zipping along on a road. For an even more immediate convertible appeal, the side rails are easily removed and stowed in the car’s trunk.

a red smart electric drive cabrio

electric engine

The basic principle behind any electric engine is that it translates electrical into mechanical energy. Engineers usually assign this task to a three-phase motor. Unlike conventional gas- or diesel-powered vehicles, electric engines experience almost no mechanical wear, require little maintenance, and transmit their power to the wheels consistently.

the motor of a smart electric drive

fast charger

Fast chargers allow users to markedly cut down the charging time of their electric vehicles. Such a fast charging option will be available for the smart electric drive from spring 2018, allowing drivers to charge their car’s battery to 80 percent in less than 45 minutes – depending on country version and grid conditions.


With the smart fortwo electric drive, the smart forfour electric drive and the smart cabrio electric drive, smart remains the world’s only car manufacturer to offer electric versions of its entire fleet. Customers therefore enjoy utmost flexibility in their drive scenario and model choices.

three smart electric drive at Potzdamer Platz in Berlin


The physical unit of kilowatts (or kW) describes the amount of work performed per unit of time – in short, it defines the performance. One kilowatt equals 1,000 watts or approx. 1.36 hp (horsepower). Translated to everyday household activities, 1 kW would be enough to cook a lunch for four on an electric range or to power a TV for 7 hours. The smart electric drive delivers 60 kW or 81 hp.

locally emission-free

In metropolises, traffic remains one of the key sources of air pollution. An electric car powered by an engine like those found in the smart electric drive produces zero grams of CO₂ locally – no matter the traveled road or route. Please note: “local” is added to clarify that some emissions might be generated elsewhere, depending on the method of electricity production involved.

smart fortwo electric drive in Austin

onboard charger

All new smart electric drive models come equipped with a high-performance onboard charger. This cuts the smart electric drive charging time in half compared to the model range’s predecessors.

quiet drive system

Since electric engines neither combust fuel, nor produce noisy exhaust emissions, their operation is almost silent – all you hear is a quiet whirring sound. Electric vehicles are only audible above approx. 30 km/h, i. e. when their tyre rolling noise slowly becomes noticeable.

smart electric drive in front of urban art


Range denotes the distance drivers can travel in an electric car without recharging at a charging station, wallbox, or domestic power outlet. The smart electric drive has a range of 160 kilometers (figure for smart fortwo electric drive according to NEDC). Possibly not enough for the Sahara, but just right for any city.

singer Mobley in front of a smart electric drive in Austin

radar-based recuperation

During braking or rolling mode, the electric vehicle’s negative kinetic energy is directly transformed into electric energy. Here, the electric engine works like a generator, recharging the battery during operations. The standard drive program of the smart electric drive models already includes proactive recuperation: Radar sensors monitor traffic and actively adjust the recuperation level to the current driving situation

smart forfour electric drive

smart is the world’s only car manufacturer to offer its entire model range as fully battery-electric versions. The brand’s smart forfour four-seater combines the full, family-friendly flexibility and generous space of a four-door model with the benefits of an electric drive.

smart forfour electric drive from behind

smart fortwo electric drive

The smart fortwo electric drive is the most agile and practical electric vehicle available on the market. At just 2.69 meters long, the two-seater’s turning circle covers a mere 6.95 meters (model not available in the US).

smart fortwo electric drive in the color passion

smart cabrio electric drive

Go to Convertible or click here.

smart control web app

The smart control app connects smart electric drive models with a smartphone, tablet, or PC. Drivers can use the convenient app to remotely control handy features like pre-air conditioning or intelligent charging.

person using the smart control web app

smart experienc-e app

The new smart experienc-e app invites users to explore virtual versions of the smart electric drive models. A detailed 3-D model, a range simulator, and explanations of many electric features make the intuitive and playful app a joy to use.

person using the smart experienc-e App on a tablet


Torque describes the force of motion that accelerates the electric car – the smart electric drive models offer an impressive 160 Newton meters (Nm). Since in electric vehicles this torque is available straight away across the car’s entire rpm range, acceleration is surprisingly agile, especially from standing or idle. For many, this surge is the reason why they never want to drive anything else than an electric car.

a smart electric drive on a motorway


A wallbox is a charging option for electric vehicles, providing a plug-in connection between the car’s charging cable and the local power grid. When connected to a wallbox, electric vehicles charge a lot faster than at a conventional domestic power outlet.

Person charging the smart electric drive on a wallbox