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)Enlarge Photo
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...