Smart ED Sales In U.S. Decreased By Half In 2015

1 year ago by Mark Kane 38

smart fortwo electric drive sales in U.S. – December 2015

smart fortwo electric drive sales in U.S. – December 2015

Smart Demonstrates Why Its EV Isn't Meant For The Country...And Why SUVs Should Stay Out Of The City

This is what happened in 2015

In the U.S., smart relies on a single model – fortwo.

The tiny city-mover noted over 28% sales drop in 2015 from 10,453 to 7,483. The all-electric version went down even more miserably by nearly 47% to 1,387!

Isn’t the U.S. ready for tiny electric cars or is the price point unattractive compared to other models? Or perhaps the decision to not bring the smart ED onto the next generation platform at the same time to match its sister petrol cars on dealer lots is really hurting the appeal.

For whatever the reason, in 2015 the all-electric smart’s model share moved from nearly 25% in 2014 to just 18.5% in 2015.

The electric smart now awaits a new generation-electric version with LG Chem batteries (in Europe probably in late 2016), instead of Daimler/Evonik’s Li-Tec, which maybe will help sales in 2017, as 2016 is out of the equation for the U.S.

In 2015, every month of sales brought decreases year-over-year for the Fortwo ED:

smart fortwo electric drive sales in U.S. – December 2015

smart fortwo electric drive sales in U.S. – December 2015

In total, there are nearly 5,000 of smart EDs in U.S.:

smart fortwo electric drive sales in U.S. – December 2015

smart fortwo electric drive sales in U.S. – December 2015

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38 responses to "Smart ED Sales In U.S. Decreased By Half In 2015"

  1. David Murray says:

    Also the car is already so small that it is a niche market, but it is an EV too, so it is a niche of a niche. And honestly, I’ll put the smart EV right in the same category as the i-Miev. With the price of used Leafs, there is really no financial excuse to get a Smart EV over something like a Leaf. The Leaf is a much nicer car, has more range, and fast charging.

    1. Koenigsegg says:

      No the Leaf is not nicer. Leaf is not good looking. Has too many useless seats and is slower.

      Smart ED has style and looks cool.

      And my Smart gets 70-80 miles per charge

      1. Unplugged says:

        Now, now. Let’s keep things real. The EPA rates the Smart ForTwo Electric Drive with a range of 68 miles per charge. The EPA range for the smaller battery Leaf is 84. What YOU get going downhill with a tail wind is irrelevant.

        And if you don’t like what a used Leaf looks like, buy a used Focus Electric. That certainly takes and Smart ED in the looks department.

  2. One other thing they could do is give the poor thing better AC charging tob6.6 kW and even DC Quick Charging so it would be almost as good as giving it more range per charge! Even making it an option would give them some data as to it’s desirability!

    Personaly, I like the little car, but its puny 3.3 kW AC charger and lack of DC QC options keep it at the fringes.

    1. KUD says:

      I agree, any Car with less then 6.6 KW charging isn’t close to be on my list. The charging speed is the most annoying thing about my Volt and that has a Gas Back Up.

    2. Koenigsegg says:

      I have never charged my Smart anywhere other than my house so what you are saying has absolutely no purpose.

  3. Texas FFE says:

    I have always thought that there’s need for entry level road worthy electric vehicles. The Smart EV looks like it would be a good entry level EV but the price has always been ridiculous. The Smart EV has about half the cargo capacity of a Leaf or Focus EV but sells for about the same price. This Smart EV needs to be priced at sub $20k to sell.

    1. Koenigsegg says:

      You do realize I drive my Smart and put nothing in it. IT IS ALWAYS empty.

      There is no need for 3-4 useless seats and a trunk.

      And the Smart has plenty of room anyway. It is not small.

      1. mr. M says:

        “And the Smart has plenty of room anyway. It is not small.”

        I agree, you can drive with 5 persons in a smart42 (2 normal seats). It is very crowded, but you can get two small 1.8m people in the trunk of a smart. I did it. It seems not possible with the new generation smart that is now coming to market, but the ones before worked fine. Also you could store 6 boxes of water in the trunk.

        1. mr. M says:

          either six boxes of water or two people. Not together 😉

  4. SparkEV says:

    SparkEV is only few hundred more, yet it’s double the power, 30% more range, has DCFC option, much larger, seats 4, etc. etc. Even lease was cheaper, though SparkEV can now be “leased” for free for 2 hours in LA via waivecar where as zipcar is not free.

    Frankly, I’m surprised Smart sold any.

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Not a lot of choice in the “cabrio” section of the EV market (or any segment really) for under $200 a month, (=

      The numbers would be much lower still without the open air option.

    2. JustWilliamPDX says:

      I drove the Smart, Fiat 500, and Spark, in both gas and electric form before leasing my Spark EV. The Smart didn’t compare well at all, and even in my urban driving environment the few extra inches in length of it’s City car rivals yield vastly more useful interior packaging. The Fiat has some great qualities, but the Spark is simply a better car overall at a drastically lower cost.

    3. Koenigsegg says:

      The Spark is one of the most laughable looking cars on the road. It looks like a clown car. Its design is a mess and makes no logical sense.

      I drove one and felt embarrassed being inside it.

      The Smart ED has a clean design and looks good. And is just cool in general.

      And the Smart is no slouch.

      1. Daniel says:

        Agreed!! That’s why I don’t have a Spark “or a Leaf” or an I3. They are weird mobiles that look like clown cars.

      2. Spider-Dan says:

        When first I read your post, I thought “Smart” and “Spark” were reversed, and I agreed. Then I re-read it and saw that you were praising the looks of the Smart car, which is one of the worst looking cars I’ve ever seen.

        The Spark is still identifiable as an automobile. The Smart looks like a toy, or an accessory to some sort of larger vehicle; like it should be rolling out of the back of an 18-wheeler to help refuel or something.

      3. Josh says:

        Couldnt agree more! Love my 2016 ED Smart for two.

  5. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    The Smart EV was always just a compliance car. With GM putting the Bolt into production, aren’t they going to phase out the Smart EV?

    Even if GM continues to make and sell it, which I doubt, I’d think a lot of would-be Smart EV buyers — ones who hear about the Bolt — will wait to buy a car with more range, more interior room, and better performance.

    Much better performance. The top speed of the Smart EV is only 78 MPH, with a 0-60 time of 11.5 seconds. (source 1)

    We are, after all, talking about American buyers, and Americans have never shown a preference for the tiny, underpowered microcars so popular in Europe and in third-world countries.

    source 1:
    http://www.plugincars.com/smart-ed

    1. sven says:

      GM doesn’t make and sell the Smart EV.

      Tiny microcars like the Smart are popular in NYC and SF in neighborhoods were open street parking spaces are very scarce.

    2. SparkEV says:

      I think you’re confusing Smart with Spark. GM makes SparkEV, not Smart.

      Smart fails even as compliance car. Why would anyone buy it? It’s way too expensive for what it delivers. They might compete against likes of Elio if they ever come to market (very unlikely), but only if it’s priced at $7.5K post subsidy (ie, $15K pre subsidy), not at $25K.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        SparkEV said:

        “I think you’re confusing Smart with Spark. GM makes SparkEV, not Smart.”

        Mea culpa; yes, I did.

        Thank you and sven for the correction.

  6. jerryd says:

    Price is the problem.
    Women love these tiny cars if priced right. But the Smart usually costs more than some 4 seat cars, sometimes a lot more.

    1. Foo says:

      Really, I thought women hated/were-afraid-of small cars… that why so many buy rediculously over-sized SUVs — “for safety”.

  7. scott franco, the evil, greedy republican says:

    I didn’t have any issues with the car, and my wife loved it. We moved to a spark EV because it had four seats.

    1. SparkEV says:

      You’re so greedy. You want it all!

  8. Anon says:

    Should be priced like an iMiEV.

  9. Texas FFE says:

    There might be some saving grace for the Smart EV if it got much better energy efficiency due to its size but it doesn’t. There are about half a dozen much larger EV models that have better energy efficiency including the I3, Leaf and Spark EV. So Smart is saying we want you to buy our car which is smaller, has less power and uses more electricity per mile but we want you to pay the same price as much more substantial cars.

  10. Nix says:

    My guess is that Smart’s parent company, Mercedes Benz has put all of their focus into the B-Class electric, and other Mercedes branded “e” cars. I’m betting the Smart ED will be allowed to die out.

    I don’t hear anything about GEN II upgrades, or plans for big cuts in the MSRP. I think it is on the way out, like the iMiev.

    1. Foo says:

      Old EVs don’t die out… they just lose capacity.

    2. Foo says:

      Old EVs don’t die out… they just become de-ranged.

    3. Foo says:

      Old EVs don’t die out… they just (battery) fade away.

    4. mr. M says:

      Smart EV sales of the next gen start in europe End 2016/Beginning 2017 (1.5 Years after the ICE version… 🙁 )

  11. Lúke says:

    I personally really like the Smart fortwo electric, and I seriously do plan to purchase one in the future. The United States is just simply an very difficult market for selling micro car and especially with all the hate and discrimination the Smart fortwo receives, whether or not it’s electric. I think that the Smart should go back and continue using the internal batteries made by Tesla like they were when the Smart ED first launched. Oi…. Even with 122 city, 93 highway, and 107 combined, I believe the Smart fortwo still has room for longer range efficiency and venturing outside of the city. Yes the EPA estimated range may be 68 miles, but again this is a city car.

    But really as a question, why are the petrol versions of the Smart fortwo not PHEVs??

    1. Texas FFE says:

      I don’t see much hate and discrimination in regards to the Smart EV. I appreciate the small size of car, it makes sense not to drag around more car than you need. What I do see though is that the Smart EV underperforms and is over priced.

      1. SparkEV says:

        If not carrying around extra stuff result in better energy efficiency, what you say would be true. But SmartEV is less efficient (107 MPGe) than SparkEV (119 MPGe). Smart is even less efficient than Leaf (114 MPGe). Carrying less stuff while wasting more energy makes no sense, yet that’s what Smart is.

        As Jay pointed out, cabrio would make sense. In fact, I might get a used cabrio for putting around town if the price is right.

  12. Sparky, the car says:

    I have a 2014 Smart ED, great car. Actually I did, my wife’s got it now- she has the longer commute. Good seats and more than large enough trunk. We have stuffed the trunk and it matches my 2002 accord’s capacity. Easily get 70 to 80 miles out of a charge in the summer. Have gone on 100+ mile day trips. Right now it covers 95% or more of our daily driving. I do wish it had 6.6kw charger, then we could take it much farther than we do now. Charges at 20%battery per hour. Faster charging or a higher capacity battery. Either would make this more practical as an only car.

  13. UK Smart EV says:

    I live in the UK. I have a 2014 Smart EV and I have tricked it out with a great full leather interior and Brabused it. I have driven 13,000 miles and commuted every day. It is the best commuter car i have owned as its “free” and fun to drive.

    If the 2017 Smart EV has a range even of 125 miles I will consider it but i am more than happy with my Smart EV and barely use my 4.2litre Supercharged XJR as a consequence!

  14. jimstack007 says:

    The Chevy SPARK EV seems like a much better value ,range and room. The Smart and any 2 seater has limits.