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Driving An Electric Car? You'll See So Much More Stuff!

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If you were to pick a vehicle in which to do a road trip, an electric car may not be your first choice. Particularly one as small as the 2013 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive.

For some, the frequent stops to recharge would get tiring, and the ForTwo isn't a natural highway car even when burning gasoline.

That didn't deter German duo Ralf Becker and Christopher Stegemann, however.  Both may write for the German classic car blog Chromjuwelen, but for a trip from the French capital Paris to the historic town of Le Mans, a ForTwo Electric Drive was ideal.

From a rational point of view, a car with an estimated 90-mile range is less than ideal for a trip of over 125 miles as the crow flies--or up to 200 miles, with the duo shunning freeway driving for country roads and villages.

But if you're to find out whether electric cars are as "sober, pale and anemic" as you'd been led to believe, and wish to discover why electromobility is often considered so "terribly emotionless", then such a journey is ideal.

There could be few better start points for the trip than Paris, with city environments being one of the Smart's true fortés. Even a jaunt around the infamous Arc de Triomphe, a crazy multi-lane traffic circle on which many insurers refuse to honor claims for damage, proved a breeze for the Smart.

Out of town, and through rural France, they appreciated other aspects of the car--the silence, the ease of use, and the fun of driving the tiny electric convertible.

2013 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive (European version)

2013 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive (European version)

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Their conclusion at Le Mans speaks in even greater volumes. The trip took two days, with plenty of deliberate stops along the way. In a car powered by fossil fuels, it would be a two hour journey. Logically, it makes little sense.

But since when has a road trip needed to make sense? The pair sum up the experience beautifully, and it's a sentence we've no doubt many of our electric car-driving readers will agree with.

"We have seen things, heard and seen, which would have remained hidden from us."

The duo describe how they have deliberately "decelerated", to search out for things and speak with people. In that respect, their trip very much held the same appeals as the world of classic cars, to which they're most familiar. What's more, they note that the Smart got them far more attention than they'd have gained in a Corvette or Mercedes-Benz SLS.

Electric cars are "terribly emotionless" then? Doesn't sound that way to us...

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Comments (8)
  1. So I can't speak to the cabriolet EV experience, however, I few months ago I switched from ICE driving to work to bicycling to work. Despite the route being the same, I see different things and have different experiences. I feel a little more in touch with the environment.
     
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  2. Absolutely. Was amazed at how much more you experience when I owned a Miata a few years back. Worth dropping the top even when it isn't sunny outside. In a convertible EV, I expect the feeling would be much like your cycling experience. It certainly was when I drove a Renault Twizy.
     
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  3. I switched to electric powered transportation years ago and found a quiet drive through the canyons is so much better when I can hear the birds and the wind in the trees. Life is more then rushing to the next location. Enjoy the journey in an EV.
     
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  4. ... wow – thanks for sharing our trailer! To be honest – we had a blast. As the video description says, our last "Chromjuwelen En Route"-tour (https://vimeo.com/38269797) brought us to Los Angeles and Las Vegas – in a blind eBay-ed 1964 Imperial Crown. So we had to do just the opposite afterwards.

    Btw, this is just the trailer. We'll release the full story (26 min) September 2nd (yep, we have to write a lot of subtitles, as we Germans speak such a funny language ;). In the meantime – here are some photos: http://www.chromjuwelen.com/photos-a-videos/v/Unterwegs/electrique/2012_Chromjuwelen_Electrique_002.jpg.html
     
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  5. Thanks for the comment Ralf, and you're welcome! Very much looking forward to the full story.
     
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  6. if you team up with another electric car u can easy more than triple driving range.
     
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  7. It's great to see people learning they can drive beyond the range tether. I will be making a 470 mile journey from the bay area to Los Angeles in less than 24 hours in a BMW ActiveE starting at 12:01AM on 9/14. You can follow my journey at http://bay2lainaday.blogspot.com
     
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  8. Great little story and video! No surprise the Germans would be first to drive, review the improved Smart EV. I've heard good things about the new Smart and think it might do well in places like congested, urban areas of Los Angeles. 90 miles range isn't bad either. Good comments too!
     
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