ELECTRIC motoring has just got a whole lot more affordable with the arrival at UK dealerships of the new Smart EQ range.
Prices start at just £16,850 forthe Smart fortwo coupÃ© after the government's plug-in car grant of Â£3,500 is deducted from the sticker price of Â£20,350.
And although it's only a two-seater with a relatively short 70-mile range, the battery powered little Smart coupe could be the perfect answer for city dwellers and short distance commuters looking to up their green credentials.
But electric power is not just limited to the two-seater coupe - smart has electrified its entire range. For those needing a little more space, the Smart forfour EQ is available from Â£17,285 after the plug-in grant and fun-loving fresh air fiends can get their electric fix in the shape of the Smart fortwo cabriolet which starts at Â£20,420 when the grant is deducted.
The Smart electric drive features an 82 hp electric motor powering the rear wheels via a single-speed gearbox. All the Smart EQ models have the same range of around 70 miles, whilemaximum speed is electronically limited to 81 mph.
The 96-cell lithium-ion battery is coupled with a fitted-as-standard 22 kW on-board charger, meaning that charging the battery to 80 per cent capacity can take less than 40 minutes using a rapid charger with less than six hours needed to recharge using a home wall box.
The new EQ range comes with a re-designed exterior which features a new front bumper and grille painted in body colour, new halogen head and tail-lights with LED daytime running lights. Three mainstream model lines are available - passion advanced, pulse premium, prime exclusive - plus a limited-edition launch model, the edition 1.
Standard specification on all models includes a multifunction leather steering wheel, rear parking sensors, smart media system with navigation, seven-inch touchscreen, charging station finder, Bluetooth, automatic climate control, DAB, Android Auto and Mirrorlink, acoustic presence indicator, alloy wheels and a comfort package.
The EQ pulse premium variants - priced from Â£18,000 - get upgraded interior trim and a rear view camera. With coupÃ© and forfour models benefitting from a panoramic roof and sunblind, while the cabriolet comes with a draft stop. Prime exclusive models start at Â£19,100 and feature bigger, black alloys, full-LED headlights, ambient lighting, automatically dimming interior mirror, heated front seats and leather upholstery.
The edition 1 comes with sporting Brabus add-ons including a spoiler and side sills and 16-inch alloy wheels in high-gloss black with a red accent. The fortwo edition 1 coupé is available for £23,790 and the cabriolet for £26,210 after the plug-in grant is deducted.
Dealers are taking orders now, with first deliveries expected in March.