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I own and drive a 2015 ICE, but driving today I was thinking about my next car and the SMART. Yes I know the SMART is being dropped, but there are deals to be had.

For someone smart about EV and SMART, Why are SMARTs battery only and not hybride, with a small gas generator on board to extend range or charge if you are in some out of the way place?

What was wrong with that idea?

Must be a reason.
 

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I've had this same thought. But I think there is a couple of things that would work against adding a generator. The first would be no room to put one unless it somehow sat in the cargo area. I don't know how practical that would be with heat and noise. There wouldn't be room underneath because the electric motor would probably take up too much room to leave room for a generator. The next thing would be current output. You wouldn't have enough current to keep up with battery drain while you were driving, so you would have to park somewhere for a few hours. If Smart's were made with an onboard generator would it be considered a Hybrid vehicle? Most owners buy an electric only vehicle to get away from having to buy gas and to have that quiet ride. But to despite all of this I too think that it's an interesting idea that I would like to see. I would have also liked to seen solar panels on the roof like they did for some of the electric Car to Go models.

https://www.electric-cars-are-for-girls.com/portable-generator.html
 

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Don't think any EV will charge while running on the HV motor....

As to why the smart was never a hybrid, the gas motor location is full of the electric motor, and the fuel tank location is full of batteries. :wink:
 

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MY08 cabrio MY09 cabrio Brabus MY15 ED
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Why are SMARTs battery only and not hybride, with a small gas generator on board to extend range or charge if you are in some out of the way place?

What was wrong with that idea?

Must be a reason.
This has been an ongoing debate since the first 68 mile range smart ED was delivered!

The short answer, the power supplied by an ICE generator will not provide a quick nor economic charge. And, most EV's have safeguards (to save you from yourself) in place to "fault" if you try to move the smart while charging. So while it could be done, it would be slow and arduous process.

An oldie but a goodie from 2014 . . .

https://www.smartcarofamerica.com/forums/f170/using-portable-generator-charge-ed-87177/index3.html#post1004849

You wouldn't have enough current to keep up with battery drain while you were driving, so you would have to park somewhere for a few hours.

I would have also liked to seen solar panels on the roof like they did for some of the electric Car to Go models.
Note that the solar panels on C2G smarts and Nissan Leafs offer no charge to the HV battery. In both cases they are there to reduce the likelihood of the 12V going dead or in the case of the Leaf, provide ancillary power to an exhaust fan.

It's easiest to think of an EV as a purpose built electric appliance that is limited by "the cord." Buy the one that fits your needs and life is good!

Going into 5th year with ED and have only exceeded the design specification of 70ish miles once.
 

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MY08 cabrio MY09 cabrio Brabus MY15 ED
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Didn't they have some kinda hybrid in Europe?
You may be thinking of the mhd in Europe? mhd is smart-talk for a stop/start system and stands for Micro Hybrid Drive.

First rolled out in October 2007, the special belt-driven starter generator that supplied the vehicle's electrical system with voltage and had a secondary function as a starter proved to be the model's weakest link!

It was not a "hybrid" as in the style of the Prius and such.

https://media.daimler.com/marsMediaSite/en/instance/ko/The-smart-fortwo-micro-hybrid-drive-mhd-Even-more-economical-and-environmentally-friendly-thanks-to-startstop-function.xhtml?oid=9919399
 

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Ah, the name confused me. Thanks for clarifying
Didn't they have some kinda hybrid in Europe?
You may be thinking of the mhd in Europe? mhd is smart-talk for a stop/start system and stands for Micro Hybrid Drive.

First rolled out in October 2007, the special belt-driven starter generator that supplied the vehicle's electrical system with voltage and had a secondary function as a starter proved to be the model's weakest link!

It was not a "hybrid" as in the style of the Prius and such.

https://media.daimler.com/marsMediaSite/en/instance/ko/The-smart-fortwo-micro-hybrid-drive-mhd-Even-more-economical-and-environmentally-friendly-thanks-to-startstop-function.xhtml?oid=9919399
 

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As mentioned the main issue is physical space.
There is not enough available space in a smart to install both ICE (Infernal Combustion Engine) and Electric Drive.

As to charging "on the go". . . The simple answer is that all factory EVs have a charger interconnect that does not allow the drive system to be engaged while charging (prevents driving away while still plugged in).

BUT, I have seen many DIY "hacks" that subvert/bypass/ignore this feature.

One TESLA owner that I know tows a camper with his Model X.
He uses the camper's onboard generator to extend the range of the Tesla while underway.
YES, it is a larger than usual genset for a small camper.
 

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I keep seeing post around the internet of people putting generators on trailers or converting an EV into a hybrid.....which defeats the whole EV "thing" by going hybrid or generators on trailers. Doing any of those things adds weight to the car, so the benefits of doing such a thing would equal it self out without many gains.

Now has anyone toyed with an idea of some kind of "electric trailer" that has its own batteries and its own electric motor that could work in tandem with the cars current setup? Instead on one motor doing ALL of the moving of the vehicle, you could in a sense have two....which could add 25% or more range perhaps? This is factoring in the additional weight of the "electric trailer" etc....but it would keep everything as a pure EV.
 

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Yes to the electric trailer idea.

I am very active in the EV community and have seen many variations of putting an extra/extended battery pack on a trailer.

I also disagree with the idea of using a generator to recharge an EV (either while driving or when parked).
Most generators are very dirty (way worse than a car engine).
 

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The bottom line always comes back to this: use the vehicle within its design specifications and you will be happy. I know everyone wants to push boundaries, but it is what it is. If it doesn't meet your needs in a subset of special circumstances, use a different vehicle. Don't compromise safety, emissions, or your sanity trying to make it be something it isn't. My LEAF has similar range and it is great at what it does, but it doesn't do everything. I am happy using it as a local runabout. Treat the smart ED the same way, and you'll be happier and safer.
 

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Not to mention some generators can be quite noisy! The trailer with the extra battery pack is an idea, but if that trailer also had an electric motor that could either push the car to a degree, while the regen recharges the main battery or both work in tandem so you aren't drawing as much out of one battery pack, but now two. It is just a thought that would have to have some engineering modeling and test done to see if it would even be worth while.
 

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As the owner of an older BMW i3 REx model, it's one of the features I've appreciated most about the car... built-in gas generator. Our i3 has a max electric range of 80-90 miles, 70 on the gas generator. The generator only activates when you have 6% charge left. Based on our driving patterns the generator rarely turns on, but it's nice to have in a pinch. I suppose one could carry a portable generator in a Smart EV, but there should be a reasonable amount of public charging sites if needed. Download any number of charging apps to find locations.

Is it as convenient as a ICE Smart? Nope, but if you're careful, you can make a low range EV work.
 
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