smart #1 EV previewed to media – official public debut is at EVx this weekend, Setia City Convention Centre

smart #1 EV previewed to media – official public debut is at EVx this weekend, Setia City Convention Centre

Earlier this week, smart Malaysia had previews of the smart #1 electric vehicle (EV) for the media and EV enthusiasts. The roomy five-door hatchback – pronounced as ‘hashtag one’ – will make its first official public appearance at the EVx 2023 event this weekend, July 22-23, at the Setia City Convention Centre. Admission is free and all are invited. Look out for it at the Hap Seng smart booth.

At the preview event, which we attended, smart Malaysia gave a product presentation and offered test drives on Proton’s oval test circuit in Shah Alam. Our takeaways from the preview are under embargo, but let me tell you that even in the increasingly competitive local EV market, the smart #1 has something unique to offer – stay tuned.

According smart Malaysia CEO Zhang Qiang, the brand is “dedicated to offering premium products with futuristic design and advanced technology that perfectly suit modern urban lifestyles”. He reiterated smart Malaysia’s timeline to launch the #1 in Malaysia by Q4 this year, which means that it’s just around the corner now.

smart #1 EV previewed to media – official public debut is at EVx this weekend, Setia City Convention Centre

The smart #1 is a CBU import, but at the event, smart Malaysia explained its efforts in customising the EV for Malaysia, and it goes beyond picking the suitable specs and options. The official distributor has been collaborating with others to develop local telematics services to support the vehicle control, navigation (charging map and entertainment functions) and the smart customer app.

“This is to ensure that our Malaysian customers are provided with a seamless and tailored experience,” smart says. We can’t reveal much now, but think of a factory UI with full local functions, including maps with charging stations.

smart Malaysia says that the #1 is currently undergoing road testing as part of the brand’s R&D process, including 20,000 km adaptive test to evaluate the vehicle’s performance, reliability, and safety in real-world conditions with a particular focus on adapting to the weather and road conditions in Malaysia. Yup, a CBU product with local testing, which is why it has been spotted OTR by some of you.

smart #1 EV previewed to media – official public debut is at EVx this weekend, Setia City Convention Centre

“In addition, we conducted local integration and display head function tests, which included 12,000 test cases and conditions. And on the service side, we have successfully developed our after-sales network and online system. Over the past six months, we have extensively tested the service functions to ensure a smooth experience for end users,” Zhang said, adding that Malaysia is a priority market for the smart brand.

To recap, today’s smart is a 50:50 JV between Mercedes-Benz and Geely, with the Germans taking the responsibility of the car’s design, which sits on Geely’s modular Sustainable Electric Architecture (SEA), which also underpins the likes of the Lotus Eletre, Volvo EX30 and the Zeekr 001. You can see the Mercedes design for yourself at EVx this weekend. Hint, in the metal, the #1 might not be as small as you think.

“We have every reason to believe that smart will emerge as a leading EV brand in this country. The team is dedicated to ensuring that EV mobility ecosystem is fully prepared before the launch of smart #1 later this year. We will continue to share updates on the significant advancements made along the way,” Zhang said.

GALLERY: smart #1 international press shots

Looking to sell your car? Sell it with Carro.

Learn more:

10% discount when you renew your car insurance

Compare prices between different insurer providers and use the promo code 'PAULTAN10' when you make your payment to save the most on your car insurance renewal compared to other competing services.

Car Insurance

Danny Tan

Danny Tan loves driving as much as he loves a certain herbal meat soup, and sweet engine music as much as drum beats. He has been in the auto industry since 2006, previously filling the pages of two motoring magazines before joining this website. Enjoys detailing the experience more than the technical details.



  • Unker on Jul 20, 2023 at 11:18 am

    Overshadowed by the Tesla hypetrain now, should wait to launch later..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3
  • Yeahsure on Jul 20, 2023 at 12:07 pm

    What on earth is ‘ EV enthusiast’?? Youtubers who worship EVs and brag about it??

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1
  • seancorr on Jul 20, 2023 at 12:51 pm

    Good luck selling it!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6
  • @NotBruceWayne on Jul 20, 2023 at 1:37 pm

    Let’s see how smart they gonna price/spec it now (pun intended.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  • hazri on Jul 20, 2023 at 2:11 pm

    what the price? like byd atto or higher like tesla? if above 160k, i think this d.o.a

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 11

Add a comment