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Smart ed Preview


Smart ed Preview

Despite having suffered a fair amount of ridicule from some circles, Smart has carved itself out quite a niche in the car market over the last few years. The company was founded in the ideology that a huge number of people buy cars that, considering their intended use, are grossly impractical - whether that be their size, cost of ownership, or level of pollution - and the belief that there must be a solution to this problem.

It's a viewpoint that many have come around to, as evidenced not only by the growing sales figures Smart has seen, but also by the level of support Smart is receiving from the EU and various European governments.

Improving and promoting 'Green' credentials is becoming more important to both the current UK government and its rival parties, and Labour has gone so far as to put its money where its mouth is, offering tax breaks for owning low (or zero) emission cars as well as cash incentives for purchasing them in the first place.

There's also a growing level of public desire, too, for environmentally friendly cars. And that's not to mention the other perks of owning a smart car, such as being able to park pretty much anywhere thanks to its tiny size.

With that in mind, when Smart invited me to take a look at - and drive in - its latest electric-powered Smart ed it was impossible to resist.

If you buy into the hype, electric cars are the way of the future. Toyota has made decent headway with its Prius Hybrid and companies such as Tesla have eschewed the fuel-driven elements of their vehicles altogether.

These zero emission cars certainly top trump their rivals when it comes to their day-to-day green credentials. So while the Smart ed itself isn't available to buy, the 100 test cars Smart has dotted around the UK will be used to provide the feedback it needs to optimise a road-going version.

To ensure it really does live up to its zero emission credentials, Smart has only allowed companies agreeing to provide the electricity the ed requires from renewable sources to take part in its trial. Cleverly, the car can be charged from any three-pin socket, thus making the Smart ed that bit more usable.

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