Was this really a smart thing to do?

How far will a 2018 smart Electric Drive Cabrio go at a constant 70 mph? Kyle Conner wanted to know so he took his smart out on the highway and drove it until it was empty. 

The smart Electric Drive Cabrio has a 57-mile EPA range rating, which is one mile less than the hardtop version. Unfortunately, smart has left the US market, but Kyle leased his smart in 2018 and plans to buy it outright when the lease term is over. 

The 2018 smart Electric Drive has a 17.6 kWh battery, (16.7 kWh usable) however, Kyle's car is a couple of years old and has about 15,000 (very hard-driven) miles on it. So it's probably safe to say it doesn't have the full capacity it did when it was new. 

Unfortunately, the car doesn't display consumption metrics like Wh/mi or mi/kWh (or kWh/100km for our European friends), so Kyle couldn't tell exactly how much energy was consumed during the trip. If the car still has 15 kWh available, his consumption rating would be 3.4 mi/kWh (18.24 kWh/100km).

He did, however, drive it until it went into reduced power mode (then drove it some more for good measure), so he was convinced he had gotten everything out of the battery that he could. He ended up going 51 miles, which is only 6 miles short of the vehicle's 57-mile EPA range rating, which is not bad at all.  

smart electric drive range test
Kyle Conner with his smart electric drive cabrio

I attended the smart Electric Drive Cabrio press drive in late 2017 and enjoyed my time in the tiny commuter. It's definitely not for everyone, but I do think small city-cars like this have a place in the market. Unfortunately, they just don't connect well with consumers in the US, and smart pulled out of the market here.  

Considering that 70-mph highway driving isn't really what the smart Electric Drive was really designed for, it did pretty well, all things considered. It got close to its EPA range rating and that was with a cabrio top that wasn't properly attached, most likely adding to the drag and reducing the efficiency of the vehicle. 

So was this a 'smart' thing to do? We think so. While there probably aren't a lot of people out there wondering how far the 2018 smart Electric Drive will go at a constant 70 mph, it gives us another vehicle to add to our library of EV highway range tests. Next up for the 70-MPH range test will be the 2020 Hyundai Ioniq. Keep an eye out for that post in a couple of days.