Can electric cars be tuned?

The general opinion is that everything about an electric car is super simple and there's nothing you can do to tune it. But isn't that also the case with combustion engine cars? And still, you can tune them.


It's the same with electric cars. At first glance it's super simple: motor, inverter, battery, done.


But there are so many options. You can increase the battery voltage or just add more stable cells. So that the voltage doesn't drop quite as much under load. You can also replace the inverter with a more efficient or stronger one. The same applies to the motor. For a higher top speed, the 1-speed gearbox can also be equipped with a different reduction ratio.


But there is so much more:

What I personally like to tune most about the fully electric smart fortwo and forfour, for example, is the regenerative breaking. So that it suddenly becomes capable of one-pedal drive. I find it super comfortable and actually very exciting. Better braking thanks to a software update.


You could tune the charging curve in exactly the same way. Who says it has to stay the way the manufacturer would like? Why not add 5-10% more power to it? Maybe along with a better cooling system?


I find the topic really interessting and think that it is just as complex as with combustion engine cars. Thanks to the lack of emissions standards, an entire motor swap is even possible. If you want to make the effort, you can put a 400 hp Tesla motor in a smart EQ. It would be cool and in traffic no one would see or hear what you have “under the hood”.

Which, in my opinion, is also part of the appeal of electric car tuning. Nobody hears or sees anything and yet it's there and it's a lot of fun.


I think it is also important to keep in mind that electric car tuning is often done by people other than those who tune combustion engine cars. These are probably two different types of people. But that doesn't actually have to be a bad thing. Everybody should do what he likes the most.

I know this, for example, from my training as a technical draftsman. I learned this on CAD and can only do it rudimentarily on a drawing board. I chose the job because it is on the computer. While the older colleagues decided to take the job, it was still on the drawing board and so they are a completely different kind of people.


The only hurdle in Germany is now the regulations. To this day they can't tell me how I actually get my performance increase legally recorded. In between, they wanted to take a noise measurement from my tuned electric car. Whatever they hoped this would result in.

But that doesn't stops me from having tuning developed for all smart #1 models in a timely manner and from being able to offer it soon.


This post was originally written for my personal Twitter and Linkedin accounts. I then published it here so it won't get lost in the depths of social media. I would also like to be able to see how my statements have aged in 10 years time.

Do you have questions about smart and e-mobility or do you want to discuss the content of this page?


Then register today here in the smart EMOTION forum. The constantly growing community is happy to engage in expert discussions and share their experiences with you. I also participate and support you with my network and expertise.