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Cenex Smart Electric Drive Trial

United Kingdom
United Kingdom Flag
Geo-spatial type
Network corridors
Project Acronym
Smart ED Trial
STRIA Roadmaps
Transport electrification (ELT)
Transport mode
Road icon
Transport sectors
Passenger transport,
Freight transport


Background & Policy context

The Smart ED is based on the Smart fortwo car, with an electric motor, battery pack and control unit. Based on its 30kW output the Smart ED model is important in the policy context in that it sets a new benchmark in the electric vehicle sector, being able to sustain a top speed of 60mph / 96km/h (electronically limited), and offers better in-town performance than its petrol powered stable mate. Range is around 70 miles (112 km) with current battery availability.

Cenex has provided the project with £100 000 of direct funding to support the development and testing of the electric drive and battery system.


The objective is to assess the viability of Smart ED (electric drive) electric cars in the UK. Cenex has a remit to support the UK supply chain for innovative low carbon automotive technologies, and supporting the development of the Smart ED fulfils this objective, in as much as it uses electric driveline components and systems sourced from UK supplier Zytek. Cenex is also using the field trial phase of the project to collect useful information on the suitability of electric vehicles to different fleet operations, to help inform both fleet operators and technology developers about the market requirements for electric vehicles.

Knowledge generated from the project will be disseminated through the Low Carbon and Fuel Cell Technology Knowledge Transfer Network, thus contributing to current knowledge in this important area of development.


This is a market trial of 100 Smart ED (electric drive) electric cars. It is the largest electric vehicle trial to be undertaken in the UK to date. All 100 electric vehicles have been placed in specific field trial projects.

Both qualitative and quantitative testing of the vehicles is taking place during the trial. Quantitative field trial data concerns the performance and reliability of the EV powertrain under real-world conditions and drive cycles. Qualitative studies seek to assess the applicability of the Smart EV to operator needs. This type of study involves data recording on the part of operators related to whether personal choice affected their decision to use the vehicle for a particular task, and when trip/job requirements prevent this.


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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