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Discussion Starter #1
I've been able to test out the winter range for my new 453 ED with some recent cold spells and light snow.

The range does vary quite wildly. The ED seems to do the worst with multiple short trips compared to my Leaf--estimated range with the heater on multiple start/stop trips for a day has total range estimates under the 35-40 mile range mark with speeds in the 40-50 mph range (city) and temperatures in the low 20s. This test was also with snow on the ground, so other than temperature it's probably not too far from worst case scenario. When I parked it at <20% battery, it did also seem to have a small amount of vampire drain over two days (though when parking at higher percents, no drop occurred).

When starting out from my garage with just heated seats (or even with the heater running) around 25-35 F, it's significantly better. Distance + estimated remaining based on battery percentage can easily push 70 or even 80 miles in this scenario at the same 40-50 mph city average. Other than the above worst case scenario, the range seems to hit a comfortable 60-70 miles or so on average cold days and usage (and primarily still with shorter trips).

While idling, the heater set at 76 F in 20 degree temps drains about 1% battery every 5-7 minutes or so after running for a while. That's not too bad while actively driving and is definitely better than my Leaf in similar temperatures.

As far as snow, it does seem better than my old gas smart and my Leaf (all season tires on all). There is one slippery part leading out of my neighborhood that my Leaf failed on, but my ED was able to handle on the same day without difficulty. Like my old smart, it feels like it's unstable (pretty wobbly while driving on snow) but it doesn't actually seem to encounter issues. The snowfall we had was fairly light (2 inches) though temperatures dropped quickly and made roads quite slippery.

The defrosting is definitely wonderful and quick--best I've ever had on a car, so I'm quite happy about that.

Charging speed remains at a solid 6 kw in 20 F degree temperatures, I had a 5% to full charge in under 3 hours at my work stations.
 

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This is interesting. I’ve been trying to gauge my 453’s performance now that colder weather and snow are here but I drive it too inconsistently to get a good understanding. Range is definitely decreased. Running the heater will lop off about twenty miles of the projected range at first but then after about five minutes ten miles is added back to range. I’ve also noticed that many shorter trips tend to be harder on range but like I said, not frequent enough. On a full charge I can be fairly certain of getting about 60 miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
This is interesting. I’ve been trying to gauge my 453’s performance now that colder weather and snow are here but I drive it too inconsistently to get a good understanding. Range is definitely decreased. Running the heater will lop off about twenty miles of the projected range at first but then after about five minutes ten miles is added back to range. I’ve also noticed that many shorter trips tend to be harder on range but like I said, not frequent enough. On a full charge I can be fairly certain of getting about 60 miles.
Yea for sure, that's probably what surprised me the most is how bad cold starts are.

My garage is temporarily out of commission so I've had quite a bit of experience with that recently. My work commute starting from a garage can chop off 8% charge while the same one starting cold is a good 12-13%.
 

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I tested a "worst case*" scenario in a 2017 smart fortwo electric drive coupe 453 today. *car did have climate package.

Weather Conditions:
24 degrees F outside (one of the top 10 coldest days of 2017 so here in Boston and the coldest days in 10 months. Coldest day since 453 EV came out)
Partly cloudy.

Car Conditions:
2017 smart Fortwo ED coupe Passion with the climate package (extra insulation and heated steering wheel)
I did NOT use pre-conditioning. If I had, the potential range would have increased.
I did NOT turn off the heat even when the car had warmed up. If I had, the potential range would have increased.
Heat was set to AUTO, 70 degrees F. It was left ON throughout the drive. The electric car heats up very fast and I could have been comfortable turning it off after a short while.
Heated seat was on (and it gets warm fast).
Heated steering wheel was on (automatically is on when heated seat is on)
Started out with a full battery at 100%.

Driving Conditions:
Exited the dealership and headed to the nearest highway, I-95, which is very close by.
Set cruise control on 66 mph. No traffic today in middle of the day. Turned around when I had 55% battery left.
Including the time I was parked and filming a couple quick videos while in park but with car on, the "average speed" was 52 mph according to the car. Stupid me should have turned off car during the video filming so that time didn't ruin my average.


Result:
I arrived back at the dealership with 2% battery (98% consumed on the test drive)
Car was turned on for a total 52 minutes at average 52 mph. Traveling speed was 66mph for the vast majority of the drive.
Trip odometer shows 45.0 miles traveled^.

^There would have been more potential range if I used pre-conditioning to heat the car, turned off heat once it got warm, or drove on slower side roads, etc.

I consider this a "worst case*" scenario for winter range. It rarely gets colder than today in Boston based on previous 2.5 years of data from Weather Underground.
*the car i tested did have climate package. Theoretically somebody could turn the heat even higher to further decrease their range.



Charging from 2%-100% on a 240V 30A 6kw charger was 3 hours, 10 minutes in the cold weather.
 

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I consider this a "worst case*" scenario for winter range. It rarely gets colder than today (24F) in Boston based on previous 2.5 years of data from Weather Underground.
Are you a newcomer to Boston? The average morning low in Boston in January is 22F and I presume that there will on average be a few winter mornings with a low temperature at least a few degrees below 0F (-20C) although, of course, that is changing...

The worst-case drive on a 451, in Pittsburgh PA was in January of 2016 when my wife drove it 15 miles on hilly snow covered streets - 30 mph or less including getting stuck in stopped traffic with much wheel spinning on a long hill at about -12F (-25C) - with heat being used, but judiciously. It was down to about 55% at the end of the drive. It probably would have made it back home that evening, but my wife got permission to charge it at a EVSE at the patient's parking lot at the hospital where she works. The estimated range in these mostly below 0F conditions would have been about 35 miles (57 km).
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Discussion Starter #7
And how would that compare to an ICE smart.... oh sorry. Bad me!
If you buy a low-range city-only EV for long-range driving, you're doing it wrong. While I could have taken my old gas smart on long road trips, I still preferred renting because the gas smart was pretty meh for long-range trips.

Ironically enough, the gas smart has a lower range than some Tesla Model 3's in winter driving.
 

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I’m using an app ‘My EV App’ to calculate per trip and season, the cost of driving my 2017 ED compared to my 2017 Toyota hybrid. As everyone here knows, how you drive, the traffic, road conditions combined with the weather means our EV’s can give and take mileage from us. My purpose in owning a smart EV is for city driving, the worst thing for a gasoline car, uses up lots of fuel. So the app compares each of my trips and reminds me why I love my smart even if it only gives me half the range on very cold days. I still save real money. There are frequent trips that costs $5 with my Rav4 but only costs .65 cents in my Smart. That’s what I like and why I own a smart. The app measures consumption in various ways but also shows me my consumption based on each % of battery. By recording most trips, I hope to learn real world flushed out numbers per season. Takes the guess work out of it and reinforces why I bought a smart EV. Cheers.
 

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Are you a newcomer to Boston? The average morning low in Boston in January is 22F and I presume that there will on average be a few winter mornings with a low temperature at least a few degrees below 0F (-20C) although, of course, that is changing...

The worst-case drive on a 451, in Pittsburgh PA was in January of 2016 when my wife drove it 15 miles on hilly snow covered streets - 30 mph or less including getting stuck in stopped traffic with much wheel spinning on a long hill at about -12F (-25C) - with heat being used, but judiciously. It was down to about 55% at the end of the drive. It probably would have made it back home that evening, but my wife got permission to charge it at a EVSE at the patient's parking lot at the hospital where she works. The estimated range in these mostly below 0F conditions would have been about 35 miles (57 km).
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25+ years in Boston. Go Patriots.

My purpose on that drive was to intentionally get the worst mileage I could by doing everything "wrong" and make the EV range as low as I possibly could. Yes, it may get a couple degrees colder on a few winter days but that is not the point of the test nor this discussion. The day I pushed this car to its limits was the coldest day since the new 453 smart EV came out a few months ago. I did this for the benefit of all- I can honestly talk to customers about the car's performance and potential owners can read about the car's performance here.

The 453 has an air cooled 3 phrase synchronous electric motor. The 451 had a water-cooled permanent 3 phase AC motor.
The 453 can have the climate package with extra insulation in the doors/floor and heated steering wheel.
The 453 pre-conditioning actually works! The 451...never or rarely did, for me at least. That 'app' was terrible.
I like the climate control of the 453 much more than 451.


Winter range in 453 > Winter range of 451.

If you think I'm biased, please ask someone else who has driven both models through cold winter weather. Anybody with experience on both models, please give your own honest feedback.
 

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Having owned both 451 and 453 version now, my feeling is the 453 has better battery efficiency and range in the cold, mild Canadian weather here -10c. You have better overall protential with the car, there shouldn't be any scenario you could do with the 451 that you can't do with the 453. But I would say overall not more than 15% improvement. At least if you are aiming to squeeze the range out of this.

Having said that, there are so many factors when driving in the cold. You could easily do things to waste battery with not much benefits. The 453 here is much better at teaching how to save battery.

For example the usage is now separate into the motor use and the accessories use, you can clearly see the difference between using the climate control compared with using just the heated seats and heated steering. The Eco mode helps those with heavy foot and limits your climate control. Again it doesn't help those who are already used to grandma driving and shutting off cc.

Most importantly it's the improved onboard charger which makes it possible to stop somewhere for an hour or half to add the needed range while still have heat.
 

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Enjoyed the real-world reading. I'm currently looking for a 453 ED. My commute is 20mls one-way driving 2 lane roads ranging from 35 mph to 60 mostly 45 mph and slight hills (more like country hills) nothing steep. I think the ranges will work for me.
 
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