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Hey all. I am thinking of buying an electric smartcar and live in Providence, work at Brown.

Just wanted to know about people's experience finding chargers and charging at home--

1) Do you blow your fuse sometimes when you charge at home?
2) How you ever charged your car at Brown? My understanding is it's expensive--$15 for four hours (that's to park, the charger is free).
3) Have you ever gone to Boston, charged there, and then come back?

Also, I have a 9-year-old and am thinking it's just not safe to put him in the front seat. Any thoughts on that?

Thanks.
 

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I can at least comment on the putting your 9 year old in the front seat bit.
I don't have kids - yet - but I wouldn't be any less hesitant to put them in the front seat of my smart than I would the front seat of any other car, if that's your concern. Of course, follow any guidelines on child/booster seats and such. The passenger seat does have a weight sensor for the passenger air bag. I have to push pretty darn hard on the seat to make the air bag turn on, and I imagine that if your 9 year old is an unsafe size/weight for an air bag, then it probably will stay off.

I don't know much of anything about the parking and charging situation at Brown. I have a friend that works at Brown I can ask, but again, he probably wouldn't have any more info than you do. I do know of one charging station at Cardi's on Rt 2 on the Warwick/EG line. My work (schneider electric) has charging stations for employees and visitors at our office in south county. I was also excited to see a Tesla Supercharging station in EG, but that doesn't apply to the smart.

On home charging, if you're using the 120V plug it came with, and give it at least a dedicated 15A circuit or stick it on an appropriately sized shared circuit, you'll be fine. I'd probably recommend a 240V charger with it's own circuit if you have the option to. 120V charging is slower than molasses. Took overnight to charge my companies volt when I borrowed it- and that's only a 40 mile charge.

If this is your only car, and you're planning on making regular trips where you won't go round trip on it's range, I'd avoid it personally. The charge times are too long, even with commercial 3 phase for it to be practical. If you drive to boston, I'd probably expect a 3-4 hour charge on a commercial charger before you can safely drive back. This is something that an ED driver might be able to weigh in on with a more accurate answer than I can give you.

Hope that helps!
 

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1) Do you blow your fuse sometimes when you charge at home?
4) I have a 9-year-old and am thinking it's just not safe to put him in the front seat.
A1. No worries about fuses. I charge my Smart ED using 120V charger that came with the car. It has two settings (low and high), neither of which have blown the 20A fuse on my unattached garage electrical panel (it's an old panel circa 1960's).

A4. My teenager is ~90lbs and is perfectly safe in the car. The airbag sensor detects he is large enough and is enabled, meaning, would be safe to deploy airbag in an accident. My youngest still uses a booster (which I leave on the seat as I take him more places than anyone else) and the airbag sensor turns off (meaning the air bag will not deploy when he is in the seat). Both of my kids LOVE the Smart as they have a better view of the world around them from the front seat.


I have a 20km round trip commute, and do side trips to the curling club, but never exceed 70km traveled per day. The typical recharge even on cold days is 10hours, which comfortably fits from the 7pm-8am time the car sits idle every night.
 

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3) Have you ever gone to Boston, charged there, and then come back?

Also, I have a 9-year-old and am thinking it's just not safe to put him in the front seat. Any thoughts on that?

Thanks.
On the latter, if you feel the car is safe for you, it is safe for your son.

On the former, in the wintertime, with the temperatures we have been experiencing, you will barely make it to Boston. I get no more than 40 miles on a charge on cold days about 30 on really cold days.

If you were willing to deal with almost running out you could drive to the Forest Hills MBTA station and park and charge there. Parking and charge are free and they have three spots though one has been off for months. ICE cars sometimes take the spots even though they are obviously designated as EV only and unfortunately though you will be able to tell remotely whether there is a car charging there already, you may arrive to find the spots filled by ICE cars. It takes my smart ED about five hours from 20% to 100% when I have charged it there.

J
 
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