The smart EQ fortwo X-rayed: Analysis by InsideEVs

Smart was one of the first carmakers to embrace the green transition by moving to an entirely zero-emission range from 2020. A record for a brand that started out with models powered by internal combustion engines.

Even the fortwo, a long-standing bestseller, went purely electric four years ago, with an updated look and the addition of the name EQ, which, like Mercedes[1], stands for 'electric intelligence'.

Between past and future

The switch to electric power for the historic fortwo[2] and forfour models (the latter having left the scene for good[3]) was just the first step in the new strategy of a brand that has undergone a profound reorganisation, becoming a joint venture between Mercedes and Geely[4] and starting to produce new concepts such as the #1 and #3.

smart #1: an electric SUV designed by Mercedes and built by Geely

But smart, in France and elsewhere, is still synonymous with the two-seater city car with its diminutive size and unrivalled ability to extricate itself from the most chaotic traffic. For us, the fortwo is almost a symbol. There are cities where the fortwo is the only choice of car, because of its ability to park anywhere and guarantee the agility needed to overcome traffic jams and obstacles of all kinds.

The smart fortwo is more than a car. It's part of a lifestyle. So much so, in fact, that it's no exaggeration to say that many drivers have switched to an electric car to keep up with the times. But what does the electric version of this super-compact, which has been on the market since 1998, look like?

A family link with Twingo

Not everyone remembers that the smart fortwo was preceded by two concepts, one of which, the Eco Sprinter, was electric. Proof that, by the end of the 1990s, someone had understood that the mobility of the future, particularly in urban environments, could be powered by batteries.

We had to wait almost twenty years to see an electric fortwo. The EQ version is based on the third generation (W453), which arrived on the market in 2014. The result of a synergy with Renault, it shares around 70% of the components with the rear-engined Twingo (which is why the Twingo was also available in a battery-powered variant[5]).

The smart electric range developed in collaboration with Renault includes the fortwo saloon and cabriolet, as well as the forfour.

The fortwo remains true to itself in its looks and layout. At 2.69 metres long and 1.66 metres wide, the electric fortwo stands out for its dimensions, proportions and appearance, which do not abandon a number of elements that have characterised the model since its creation, in particular the tridion structure.

This is made from a particularly strong steel alloy and guarantees high safety standards, even though the car's body is really tiny. However, it has to be said that the interior is extremely comfortable, with more head and leg room for both occupants than you might imagine.

  • Length : 2.69 metres
  • Width : 1.66 metres
  • Height : 1.56 metres
  • Wheelbase : 1.87 metres
  • Curb weight : 1,010 kg
  • Boot capacity : 260 litres

Battery and range

Under the floor of the smart EQ fortwo is a lithium-ion battery made up of three modules of 32 cells each (96 in total). It has a total capacity of 17.6 kWh and is guaranteed for eight years or 100,000 km. It powers a separately excited synchronous motor located at the rear, where the old three-cylinder petrol engine used to be. It delivers 82 PS and 160 Nm of torque.

The smart EQ fortwo recharges with up to 22 kW of power

The car, strictly designed for urban use, claims a range of 135 km (84 miles), but outside the city it can hardly guarantee such mileage.

The smart fortwo is no thunderbolt when it comes to recharging. The car is only compatible with alternating current and, when connected to a public charging station, can charge at 22 kW. This figure nevertheless guarantees a full charge in around an hour (or even less), given the capacity of the battery.

  • Battery : 17.6 kWh
  • Range : 135 km (84 miles)
  • Charging : 22 kW
  • Max power : 82 PS
  • Max torque : 160 Nm
  • Max speed : 130 km/h (80 mph)
  • 0 to 60 km/h (37 mph) : 4.9 seconds
  • 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) : 11.5 seconds


  1. ^ Mercedes (
  2. ^ fortwo (
  3. ^ the latter having left the scene for good (
  4. ^ Geely (
  5. ^ Twingo was also available in a battery-powered variant (