The Smart EQ forfour makes up part of the only line-up in the world currently available with a pure-electric version in every variant. Alongside the petrol-powered Smart range, the citycar specialists also offer the EQ fortwo coupe, EQ fortwo cabrio, and EQ forfour as EV models.
The EQ forfour can complete around 100 miles on a single charge according to official figures, and is available with the UK Government’s £3,500 Category 1 Plug-in Car Grant. Buyers will likely be eligible for the £500 Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme grant too, reducing the cost of a fully-installed home charge unit.
Official NEDC Range
Smart EQ forfour96 miles electric
Smart EQ forfour77 miles
Next Green Car verdict: “Smart’s EQ forfour is ideally suited to urban driving”
How to charge a Smart EQ forfour
The Smart EQ forfour uses a Type 2 charging standard for AC. The Type 2 inlet is used when charging at home or at public slow and fast AC points. The Smart EQ forfour’s Type 2 inlet is found on the off-side rear 3/4 panel where you would expect to find a petrol flap. There is no rapid charging capability on the electric Smart range.
Smart’s EQ forfour is able to be slow and fast charged from public points, depending on network and type of charge unit. In most cases, slow charging requires a 3-pin-to-Type 2 cable, and fast charging a Type 2-to-Type 2 cable, both of which are usually supplied with the vehicle.
|Type 2 – Slow & Fast|
Charging requires the EV driver to plug the connectors into the correct inlet, after which the car then ‘talks’ to the charging unit to make sure there is a power supply, that there are no faults, and that it is safe to start charging. If charging at private home or workplace charge point, the vehicle then automatically starts charging.
On a public charger, an activation process is required to initiate charging. Depending on the network provider, this may require the use of an RFID card or smartphone app, often linked to an account which has been set up beforehand. Contactless pay-as-you-go units are also becoming more common on newer units. Once activated, the units will conduct further connection and account checks before starting to charge the vehicle.
How long does it take to charge a Smart EQ forfour?
The following table shows approximate times to charge a Smart EQ forfour. Times are for a 100% charge.
Note that the times shown are only a guide, as very rarely will an EV need to be fully charged from 0%. Other factors that might vary the charging time include ambient temperature, in-vehicle energy loads, any upper and lower charge restrictions to extend battery life and protect against potential damage, and charging rates slowing down as the maximum charge is reached.
|Fast 22kW||Fast 7kW||Slow 3kW|
|45 mins 0-100%||2:30 hours 0-100%||7:30 hours 0-100%|
The Smart EQ forfour is fitted with a 7 kW on-board charger as standard for AC charging, though is available with a 22 kW on-board charger as an option. This means that even when connected to a fast charger with a rated output above 7 kW or 22 kW – depending on model – the Smart EQ forfour will only be able to charge at the on-board charger’s maximum level.
Use Zap-Map’s Home Charging Calculator to estimate charging times for a Smart EQ forfour. The level of battery charge, connector speed, and on-board charger options can be tailored to your requirements for more accurate results.
How much does it cost to charge a Smart EQ forfour?
The table shown below shows estimates of the cost to charge the Smart EQ forfour’s 17.6 kWh battery at home, on a domestic tariff. Cost estimates are dependent on the charge remaining, usable battery capacity, and age of battery pack. Cost per mile is calculated using an estimate of real-world range.
|Type||Cost/kWh||Cost to charge||Cost per mile||Home||14 p/kWh||£2.46||3.2 p/mile|
Based on these figures, the Smart EQ forfour’s fuel costs are 3-4 p/mile based on real-world energy usage, the cost depending on the type of charging. In general, home charging provides the cheapest per mile cost and public rapid charging tends to be around double the cost. These fuel costs compare favourably with 12-15 p/mile for conventional petrol and diesel cars.
To find the cost and times to charge an EV on a public charge point, Zap-Map’s Public Charging Calculator calculates charging costs for any new or used plug-in vehicle. The results can be personalised for different electricity costs and the level of charge required.
Charging a Smart EQ forfour at home
Charging at home is often the most convenient and cost effective way to recharge an EV. Government grants are available for the installation of home EV charge points, and a large number of companies offer a fully installed charge point for a fixed price.
Most home chargers are either rated at 3 kW or 7 kW. The higher powered wall-mounted units normally cost more than the slower 3 kW option, but halve the time required to fully charge an EV. Many plug-in car manufacturers have deals or partnerships with charge point suppliers, and in some cases provide a free home charge point as part of a new car purchase. Zap-Map recommends shopping about beforehand as there are a number of suitable products on the market.
Charging a Smart EQ forfour on public networks
The UK has a large number of public EV charging networks, with some offering national coverage and others only found in a specific region. The major UK-wide networks include BP Chargemaster (Polar), Ecotricity, Pod Point, and Charge Your Car.
Payment and access methods across networks vary, with some networks providing an RFID card and others a smartphone app to use their services. While most require an account to be set up before use, some rapid units with contactless PAYG card readers are starting to be installed.
Although many EV charge points are free to use, the majority of fast and rapid chargers require payment. Charging tariffs tend to comprise a flat connection fee, a cost per charging time (pence per hour) and/or a cost per energy consumed (pence per kWh). For more information about network tariffs, visit Zap-Map’s public charge point networks guides.