Running EQ in hilly terrain and battery regeneration


(Charles) #1

The FourTwo is classed as a city car, but does this mean that its range is badly affected by hills?

Most of my driving is 5-20 mile round trips and I have a garage where I can charge, so I would expect to be able to put the car on charge when it is at home.

Quoted range is about 100 miles, but consensus is that in the real world this is nearer 70 miles and in UK winter, when you need to run with heating and aircon, then it is more likely to be 40ish.

Now this I could live with. However we live in a hilly area of Yorkshire and so there is a lot of up and down so I am wandering if this will cause me to see even lower ranges.

How well does the FourTwo regen work on breaking i.e. will I get much battery charge back when going downhill?

The reviews I have seen indicate that the regen is not aggressive i.e. if you lift off the accelerator whilst driving on the flat then the car will “free wheel” and drop speed as energy is lost. So you don’t have one peddle driving and the experience is more like a traditional car.

I assume if whilst doing this you press the brake peddle then it applies regen to try to perform the deceleration and so reclaim the energy.

The blurb mentions “Radar-assisted recuperation” which I don’t understand. Does this mean that if the radar detect an obstruction it applies regen more aggressively, or does it employ the brakes i.e. sacrifice energy for safety?

Thanks


#2

Your expectations of range during the winter are pretty realistic, I’d say. My range drops roughly 40% during the peak of winter. I can’t comment on hills unfortunately as my commute to work is pretty much completely flat.

Regarding regen braking: don’t expect to gain a lot from this - even on hills. Unfortunately, I think the non-EV owner opinion seems to be that you can get back many miles from brake regeneration, but reality is a very different matter. I’d take a realistic guess of gaining back 3 - 5 miles on a 20-mile round-trip. In other words, I wouldn’t really take it into account (I don’t, and I drive roughly 77 miles per day).

Radar-assist is all about safety. It only works when you use the car in ‘normal’ mode (which also slightly reduces your range). What it does is apply the brakes if it senses that the car in front is too close to you. This could be from your driving too close to the car in front or from someone overtaking you and pulling in front of you too soon, for example. I very rarely use normal mode so I can’t comment on radar-assist actually slowing down the car. However, I have had the radar warning light flash at me and also bleep when someone has overtaken me and pulled in front of me too closely.

Regen on the ForTwo is a little stronger than our Renault Zoe but I’ve become used to it. You’re right, it’s certainly nowhere near one-foot driving (very few EV cars actually are right now) but it’s surprising how little I use the brakes. Saying that, most of my commute is done on minor and major roads, outside of town.


(Charles) #3

Many thanks. Been into the local showroom for a test drive and I must admit I really liked it.

However it seems they are building no new EQ ForTwo cars at this time, but are running down the production of the ICE versions and I have found a Merc 2019 product roadmap and this shows the Smart cars being “upgraded” at the end of this year; by when they will only be selling EQ versions.

Given at the same time Skoda is expected to release a new 36.8kWh Citygo, for around £18-£20K, I assume the Smart “upgrade” will include an increased battery capacity and will have to be priced at around the same point or they may as well stop making them.

The current real world cost for an EQs seems to be around £16K, well under the list price, but even this feels far too expensive given the probable changes at the end of the year.

As such I am thinking that waiting to see what happens may be the best bet, as whilst I could probably manage my driving in winter to fit what the current car can deliver, it would I expect cause me to have to make compromises that would not exist with a car having a 30+kWh battery.


#4

Don’t assume anything… From my experience, things tend to happen one year after Smart have announced they will.