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Discussion Starter #1
The Deutsche Accumotive GmbH & Co. KG has set a major milestone with the E18-1. With the first made in Germany battery cells that where used in a series production vehicle, they build a battery pack, that's truly developed and made in Germany. For 2012, it's performance date is impressive:
Continuous output: 42 kW (2.4 C)
Peak power: 63 kW (3.5 C)
Energy content: 17.6 kWh
Nominal voltage: 400 V
Weight: 175 kg

In the following I would like to show what's inside the smart ED3 battery pack and how it works.

 

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"The high standard of Mercedes is also why the battery pack is so reliable, even after up to 8 years. My own smart ED3 now has that cracked 200,000 km, that corresponds approximately 2,000 cycles and still hast got 90% of its original capacity."

Once again, we seem to be living in two different worlds or experience. In the US, I would not be surprised to hear that more than half of the ED3's are in the junkyard, most with less than 30K km, due to failed HV batteries.

I do not wish to be rude, but most of the information in eqpassion.de reads like promotion and advertizing. As it is written, it certainly would violate NPOV standards for a Wikipedia article.
 

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Edge info (quote from the article):
Since the cells were separated from each other here, they can no longer be used for operation in the smart. Once >separated from each other, you can't connect them again. The CSE would notice this and refuse to serve. This cell >now works in a PV storage.
This paragraph glosses over some critical points that any proper 'teardown' would fully explain. First it is not that the 'cells were separated' but that the welded aluminum foil electrical connections between the cells had to be ripped apart in order to get to the cells. The cell pouches themselves lie confortably in the black plastic holders where they are afforded space to expand and contract. Most manufacturers put pouch cell(s) in sealed metal cans with sturdy electrical connectors (bolts) such that defective ones can be easily replaced, not so Daimler where a bad cell or two means that the entire module of ~30 cells is now useless. Worse, Daimler does not replace modules - you have to buy an entire (3 module) battery and, get this, as of the publishing date of this article (1 august 2020) MBenz does not expect to be able to supply hv batteries at all in the forseeable future! 'The CSE would notice this and refuse to serve' - whatever this is supposed to mean it is a fitting metaphor for the situation of Smart Cars in North America. I'm so glad to hear that our scrapped hv batteries will offer Green support as PV storage Tesla-style. :p

But how can we expect a glossy executive summary to mention or care about any of this. Methinks 'Passion.de' are public relations team of Daimler, Inc.
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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
This article is the second part of three, I'm going to refer to it, when I'm going to show you what can be replaced and how you can do that yourself.

Actually, I know very well, that it's rather common in the USA and Canada, that batteries die due to a dead 12 V battery after the winter. That's a huge flaw and not what I call good German engineering. Here in smart's main market they are dealing with these kind of problems by being rather forthcoming with the repair costs. But, as they decided smart isn't going to be sold in the USA and Canada, they dropped the support to a minimum....

Bare with me guys. Of course, my page is called "passion", as the smart ED & EQ is my passion. But that doesn't mean I'm not able to criticizes them. There's a lot to criticizes right now, especially about how they treat the USA and Canada and that they are still rocking the same battery capacity (and therefor range) as in 2012.
The page is available in Germany and in English. The English page is written with the US and Canadien marked in mind, but it also needs to cover the non German speaking European users. That's why it's such a stretch at some points and not everything is perfectly fitting for only your cases.


Nevertheless I'm trying to help you guys where ever I can. I've got enough passion to even try to help you guys with these kind of problems. That's also, why I've written a article about the basics you need to know for replacing HV components in a electric smart. And why I'm explaining how electric cars work, documenting their technical key data over the generations and giving buying advices for used ones.


And as a side note:
I'm not related to Daimler by any means. Personally, I now went to school again, so I'm allowed to study. Which I'm going to start in October. I'm 22 years old now and going to study electrical engineering.
 

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Thank you MineCooky these articles are terrific. We need more writers like you sharing what they have discovered and explaining what they have found. Americans are a very skeptical and suspicious bunch of people who tend to be quite critical. I should know, I'm one of them, and all my friends, brothers, and brothers-in-laws act the same as me. (Ones suspicions gets worse as one get older, since you will run into more fakers, grifters and snake oil salesmen as time goes by.) We are going more support and info as time goes by, unless Geeley comes to our rescue with a more open help and communication about our cars.
 

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@MineCooky: It would have been helpful if you led with the last paragraph and also stated that this was your blog and not just a forward of some pr content. Also to have been aware of unfortunate continuing situation of pack failures etc.

Daimler did create a unique hv pack in that it is one of the lightest weight per kwh EV packs since it avoids all those heavy metal cell cans and heavy connection straps between cells. These things really add on the weight. Also it is a very handy ready-made 360v pack that can be easily fitted into ev conversion projects.
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Once again, we seem to be living in two different worlds or experience. In the US, I would not be surprised to hear that more than half of the ED3's are in the junkyard, most with less than 30K km, due to failed HV batteries.
I wish there was a way to know how many have actually failed due to HV battery issues. There were just over 5500 Smart ED3s sold in the U.S., so it’s a pretty small sample. But still, you’d think if half of those failed, there would be a lot more reports of the problem than the handful or so that have been mentioned on this forum.

it does seem odd that on one hand, there are a number of cases where batteries have failed with less than 30,000 miles and then there are cases like MineCooky’s with over 200,000 miles. Is it just luck of the draw, or does it have more to do with how the car is driven and charged?
 

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In the US, I would not be surprised to hear that more than half of the ED3's are in the junkyard, most with less than 30K km, due to failed HV batteries.
Your suggestion that as many as 2,750 smart ED’s with fewer than 19,000 miles (30K km) may have met their demise through HV battery pack failure is shocking?

While SCoA represents only a small sampling of ALL owners in the US, the number of “reported” junkyard bound HV failures remains small.

Such unfounded speculation only serves to feed those who choose to bash the marquee.
 

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Have none of you denizens seen the photos of the 'field of thousands' of electric Smart cars left to die a hideous electrical death in the hot climes of SoCal?? Are we pretending that this never happened?

Lots of SmartEDs, I believe, were leased to organizations like the San Diego CA 'city car' programs where the cars were used as jitney taxis by citizen/members. Eventually the leases ran out and the GreenFolks let the programs die and MBenz just parked them in a field. That Guy in ElCajon, CA has been nibbling away (still) at his stockpile of cars but what happened to the rest of them is an open question. He remains a good source of parts as are the copart and insurance auctions.

I assume this topic has already been covered somewhere in this huge amorphous forum, but I've not found it yet. I also do not know what the Electric/ICE percentage is in any of these historical episodes; I tend to view everything Smart as 'ev' but quite likely a lot of this history is actually about the gassers.
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Discussion Starter #10
The car2go cars from San Diego where sold years ago. A few dozen of them even where imported to Europe, as they still had a very low milage.
 

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Have none of you denizens seen the photos of the 'field of thousands' of electric Smart cars left to die a hideous electrical death in the hot climes of SoCal?? Are we pretending that this never happened?

Lots of SmartEDs, I believe, were leased to organizations like the San Diego CA 'city car' programs where the cars were used as jitney taxis by citizen/members. Eventually the leases ran out and the GreenFolks let the programs die and MBenz just parked them in a field. That Guy in ElCajon, CA has been nibbling away (still) at his stockpile of cars but what happened to the rest of them is an open question. He remains a good source of parts as are the copart and insurance auctions.
THOUSANDS of smart ED’s left to die in the desert!

Just more smart bashing...

Car2Go, a subsidiary of Mercedes parent company Daimler, offered car sharing in multiple locations across the US for five years.

Restricted to a Home Area and a range of 65 miles, the San Diego launch of 300 smart ED’s came November 2011 with the “first fully electric car sharing fleet.” For lack of public charging stations (only 400) in San Diego the ED fleet failed and was then switched to ICE starting May 2016.


It should be noted that these early (Second generation w/16.5 kWh battery) versions represented a “field test” and none were sold in the US in favor of being parted out.

The San Diego location closed December 2016.

All US Car2Go car sharing outlets were closed by February 2020.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
The San Diego fleet was, till 2016, slowly replaced by 3rd gen EDs.

Same as here in Stuttgart. :)
 

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"Just more Smart bashing..." [MB DNA]

It is not my intention to denigrate the marque. I'm looking for facts and not finding it yet in one nice location in this forum, where one might assume a proper history might be located, I'm asking for references, please. Recommended Reading??

400 charge stations in San Diego should have been plenty, you'd think?? Even 40 would serve.

"2nd gen . . . 3rd gen" - Sorry, only know 451_ED and now 453_EQ since the 'model year' seems to have no specific meaning at least in North America.

Somewhere I've seen the photo of the Smarts in the huge parking lot but not sure just which lot they were etc plus I failed(?) to save the photo.

"That Guy" from ElCajon is still on ebay selling his stuff that he got from these San Diego remnants (all his parts are 'under 5000 miles'). I may have to make a pilgrimage there if he allows visitors. 8^)
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Discussion Starter #14
I've got a nice overview of all 4 generations:
smart ED1 (Facelift 450)
smart ED2 (preFacelift 451)
smart ED3 (Facelift 453)
smart ED4 (every electric 453)

Especially when discussing the battery of the different generations, it's important to not get confused by the generations. Here we are talking about the 3rd generation.


@Vincent Rapide the batteries are not dying because their cells are bad. If the cells would be bad, my smart wouldn't run since over 200.000 im.
They are dying because there is a software bug in the BMS (Here you can learn what a BMS does), which discharged the HV-battery, when the 12V voltage drops.. Yes, that's a major flaw. But it only accuses when the smart isn't being moved for multiple months and therefor the 12V battery isn't being recharged by the DCDC converter. (Here you can learn what a DCDC converter does)
This combination is most common in the USA and Kanada, as it's rather normal there that people don't use their smart in the winter. Here in Europe and the rest of the world, the error is rare.

And of course there is a guy, who's still selling parts of these former car2go: You'll never find a car sharing fleet wich hasn't any crashed cars. And, as the ED is rare in the USA, there isn't a huge market for people who can work with these parts. Parts, wich also need to be reprogrammed to work again in an other smart.
 

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Some batteries are dying because of individual cell failure - Dave Poz on YouTube as well as examples here on SCA.

Most hv batteries will indeed last a long time but take care of them as salvage batteries will be all we have in the future.

When you are storing ED for a week or more, and just to be safe no matter what happens, disconnect the neg terminal on the 12v battery to ensure that the hv battery will survive.

Parts/reprogramming?? Where is your evidence? Too bad your arduino tool does not reprogram.

VR
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Discussion Starter #16
Some batteries are dying because of individual cell failure - Dave Poz on YouTube as well as examples here on SCA.
To me it looks like the battery is from a crashed car which sat a while till insurances where done fighting. After a battery such a long time, individual cells are not only deep discharged, but don't hold any charge at all.

When you are storing ED for a week or more, and just to be safe no matter what happens, disconnect the neg terminal on the 12v battery to ensure that the hv battery will survive.
Disconnecting the 12V battery from the smart is like the 12V battery is dropping... you will damage the HV battery that way, even faster than without disconnecting it. When you are going to store your smart for multiple months, you should connect your 12V battery to a 12V charger.

Parts/reprogramming?? Where is your evidence? Too bad your arduino tool does not reprogram.
What kind of reaction do you expect to such an unqualified statement?
 
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Disconnecting the 12V battery from the smart is like the 12V battery is dropping... you will damage the HV battery that way, even faster than without disconnecting it. [MineCooky]
Disconnecting 12v battery means that the contactors inside the hv batt are down, disconnecting it from ___?? This is a safe position for TeslaMS and Chevy Spark whereby these cars can sit for months on end with hv remaining stable. So Daimler has left the BMS(?) still connected even though the contactor is OFF or some other circuit inside the hv pack remains connected which drains off the hv? Circuit diagram, even a block diagram, might explain this and move this to science from myth.

My basis: (1) 2012 ModelS, and (3) Chevy 2014 SparkEVs.
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I wish there was a way to know how many have actually failed due to HV battery issues. There were just over 5500 Smart ED3s sold in the U.S., so it’s a pretty small sample. But still, you’d think if half of those failed, there would be a lot more reports of the problem than the handful or so that have been mentioned on this forum.

it does seem odd that on one hand, there are a number of cases where batteries have failed with less than 30,000 miles and then there are cases like MineCooky’s with over 200,000 miles. Is it just luck of the draw, or does it have more to do with how the car is driven and charged?
Once again, the failure is not battery cells failing due to some kind of degradation, it is a software error that renders the pack useless when the right conditions are met - the main condition being a dead 12V battery, and a period of having the car in storage. Obviously, someone driving an ED over 200K km in 5 years is not likely to meet those conditions.

The great majority of ED owners, including those of failed cars, and the owners of all cars save for DIYers, do not participate in internet fora regarding their cars. But if the participants in this forum are a representative sample, then it would indicate that about a quarter to a third of ED's have bricked.
 

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Parts/reprogramming?? Where is your evidence? Too bad your arduino tool does not reprogram. [yes, I said this, and sorry, makes no sense]
To clarify:
Could examples be given about when reprogramming is actually needed, to be done by MBenz dealer or by a 3rd party arduino-style tool/dongle? Or when it has not been needed and when this happens is it just by luck or whether the mechanic remembered to disconnect the 12v battery before the mods were installed, or what? Saying that you always have to run it to the dealer to remove error codes would be unfortunate if true.

I was able to purchase a China-Special arduino/dongle that supposedly can remove serious codes such as 'bags deployed etc' for the Chevy Spark among other GM EVs (have yet to try it). Many more SmartEVs have been produced compared to the Spark so has anyone found such a tool for SmartEV? THIS is the tool we need.
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