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So the other day I got this box from Smart USA. There was a spiel to join some new venture where in a very small number of cities you can rent a smart, including an electric one, for an exorbitant rate - threw that one right out. There was a card and sheet with battery information - like how to make it last longer. Nothing that isn't in the owner's manual. There was a membership card for Chargepoint that has to be activated. I might actually do that, as there are CP stations nearby including 2 on the way to the smart dealership 53 miles away.

But the most interesting inclusion is a solar powered charger for my cell phone. It has a 1500 milliamp hour lithium polymer battery that can be charged by the solar panels that take up one side of the unit, or from the USB port on a computer. It has a built in LED flashlight, and several connecting options for various devices. Kind of a cool gizmo, although I'm not sure how I'll use it in my everyday life. So far I can see it as a nightstand flashlight that won't roll off the nightstand and will never need new batteries. Charging my phone really isn't a problem.

Anyway, anyone else get one of these yet?
 

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Actually, there was one piece of information in the packet that I had not seen before. It claims that it takes the same amount of electricity to charge the car's battery from 0% to 80% that it takes to charge it from 80% to 100%. If that's true it's another reason to operate in the 20% to 80% window. Most of my driving is short trips, and I've been using the top 25% to 60% at most. So I could save money and arguably preserve battery longevity if I made a habit of catching the charge at about 80%.
 

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Actually, there was one piece of information in the packet that I had not seen before. It claims that it takes the same amount of electricity to charge the car's battery from 0% to 80% that it takes to charge it from 80% to 100%. If that's true it's another reason to operate in the 20% to 80% window. Most of my driving is short trips, and I've been using the top 25% to 60% at most. So I could save money and arguably preserve battery longevity if I made a habit of catching the charge at about 80%.


Ya i dont drain my battery anymore or charge it to 100%. I just drive around from 60% to 20% usually and charge back up. Straight commuting and cruising.
 

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It claims that it takes the same amount of electricity to charge the car's battery from 0% to 80% that it takes to charge it from 80% to 100%.QUOTE]

I'm not sure how much sense that makes. By that I mean, when I drive I get fairly linear SOC usage compared to miles driven. Usually I get about 7 miles for every 10% of usage. I get 7 miles when it goes from 90 to 80%, and I also get 7 miles when I go from 50-40%.

So why would it cost twice in terms of electriciy consumed if I am driving in the top10% on the gauge? Do those miles cost me more money???

Someone make sense out of this please

BTW, the top 20% of the gauge doesn't take any longer to charge in terms of minuteS on the charger than the next 20%.
 

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It claims that it takes the same amount of electricity to charge the car's battery from 0% to 80% that it takes to charge it from 80% to 100%.
No, that's just nonsense. Both the manual or above brochure seem to take some liberties with physics in some places.

The SoC gauge on the dash isn't exactly perfectly accurate real state of charge of the battery, but it isn't that far off, either. It takes the same energy to charge 80 to 100% as it does 20 to 40 (within reasonable error margin). As trooplewis said, it does take longer. Also, in case you're watching while its charging: the gauge will show 100% a bit before the battery is really full, while the car continues to top off with gradually reducing current until it is.
 

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When I found a connector that would adapt the charger cable to my iPhone 5, I found that there wasn't enough oomph in the solar charger to increase the charge on my cell phone. As a matter of fact, it seems that the cell phone battery was used to charge the solar charger, rather than the other way around.

Works fine as an LED flashlight, if you remember to put it somewhere that the sun does shine.

My observations, regarding the amount of charging energy taken from the wall, with a Kill-A-Watt meter, is that the first and last couple of hours of the charging cycle, increase the SOC percentage more quickly than does the time in-between, but the kWH hours taken from the wall is constant for the full charging cycle, based on observing on an hourly basis, the readings provided by the Kill-A-Watt meter.
 

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So the other day I got this box from Smart USA. ... Anyway, anyone else get one of these yet?
Did it look like this?

There was a membership card for Chargepoint that has to be activated.
The ChargePoint thing is nice, since it doesn't require a credit-card to be put in (you can, but it's not required). I got into the Car2Go site using the promo code before they started requiring a credit card to register. Now they're e-mailing me monthly, asking me to fill in my credit card info. I figure if I need to use it some day, I'll fill it in. Until then, seems a little too scamy for me. The nearest place I'd use it would be Toronto or NYC, and I haven't been to either in close to a decade.

But the most interesting inclusion is a solar powered charger for my cell phone.
Word to the wise, don't leave it in your car. If you do, good odds it will fry itself within days. Got mine in late summer and within a couple weeks it was dead. The LiIon pack was inflated when I took it apart. Pretty standard though, so replacing it wasn't difficult. It can be handy for charging low powered devices, but for the most part I agree that the LED is probably the most useful function on it.

It was fun telling people smart sent me a free charger though... And yes, several people asked said "You can charge your car with that?!" :rofl:
 

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I got mine a few days ago. Three months after picking up my smart, a little late for a "Welcome". But who looks a gift horse in the mouth?

The solar charger is just that - only works when in the sun. I don't think I'll use it. I installed USB sockets in the smart for charging my phone, etc. Never understood why the one in the glovebox doesn't do that.

The Charge Point card would be nice, as i would have saved the $25 deposit on the one I ordered directly from Charge Point when I bought the smart. But I kinda needed it in the past three months, so I had to pay anyway. I added it as a second card to my account, so as soon as I get a second EV, I can use both...

In summary: It's kinda like the mysmart web-app: nice thought, good intention, lousy execution.
 
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