EVs Just Got Cheap: Smart ForTwo Electric Drive Priced At $25,000 Pre-Rebate For US

OCT 3 2012 BY JAY COLE 28

2013 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive From $17,500*2013 Smart ForTwo Open Air Fun (Cabrio From $20,500*)

With Smart having priced the ForTwo Electric Drive at very reasonable levels elsewhere in the world earlier this summer, we anticipated the little EV would also soon become be the value leader for the US when it went on sale.

2013 Smart ForTwo Open Air Fun (Cabrio From $20,500*)


And Daimler didn’t disappoint.


For the United States, the Smart ForTwo Electric Drive coupe starts at $25,000, with the Cabriolet at $28,000.  Much cheaper than any other highway capable EV sold in the US today.


The best part of the electric ForTwo’s pricing, is that it does NOT include the $7,500 federal rebate, which the Smart fully qualifies for with its 17.6 kWh battery, making the car effectively $17,500.


2013 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive Interior

The only asterisk (*) we can see is that the MSRP does not include the destination fee of $825.


Cutaway Of Smart ForTwo Electric Drive

The Daimler/Bosch collaboration is propelled by a 30-kW/55 peak electric motor that can get the 2 seater to 60 km/hr (37 mph) in a respectable 4.8 seconds.  Maximum speed is 80 mph and range is listed (in other countries) at 90 miles.


You can pre-register now at Smart’s online site (here), with cars expected to start arriving to customers in the spring.

The only question now is:  If this is the price a premium automaker like Daimler can offer an EV with almost 18 kWh of energy on board for, why are we still paying so much for the likes of the Nissan LEAF ($35,200 – 24 kWh), Ford Focus Electric ($39,200 23 kWh) and Chevrolet Volt ($39,195 – 16.5 kWh)

Smart ForTwo Electric Drive – Available in Coupe and Cabrio

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28 Comments on "EVs Just Got Cheap: Smart ForTwo Electric Drive Priced At $25,000 Pre-Rebate For US"

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Now we are getting somewhere on price-not the most practical car for families, but if you drive back and forth to work there is no reason to not get this. Will force the price of electrics down too


Something doesn’t add up…..

If the Volt’s 16 KW battery achieves about 40 miles of range, then how does Smart get 90 miles of range out of an incrementally larger 18 KW battery? Is it due to the smaller frame/weight? Better battery?

Besides that, I wonder what Diamler is paying per KW on their batteries? It must be quite a bit less than the competitors, or else the competitors have just been greedy. I think it was Alan Mullally that wasn’t recently quoted as saying the batteries are currently at $500/KW. So that would make the Smart battery $9000, all things being equal. That would leave $16000 for the rest of the car which isn’t much. Hmmmm?

A glider for $ 16000 seems like a substantial amount of money, considering you can buy a smart WITH an engine for a lot less, also, as Jay said and on the smart website the battery is included.

On top of the weight difference Jay pointed out, the Volt and Smart ED use different amounts of the pack capacity. Volt I believe uses 65% and the Smart will use closer to 90%.

Expect the Smart pack to fatigue a little bit quicker due to the higher cycling.


Take a look at this article that came out a couple of weeks ago:


Are we really sure the batteries are included and the car is eligible for the tax credit?


From a price standpoint, remember that in the case of the Volt, it has a whole lot of thermal management electronics, as well as a gas generator and related components. That’s got to add some meat to the price.

Bill Howland

This is great news… If my garage wasn’t full of EV’s already, I’d buy one.


It is amazing that only Daimler is doing exactly what everyone else should be. Take a good small car, pull out the ICE, transmission, catalitic converters and throw in the electric motor and enough batteries for a decent city commute. Then the extra cost is almost completely offset by the government incentives. No need for special touch screens and wizbang headlights and backup cameras. Simple formula that all of us are waiting for but noone yet has been willing to do. Ofcourse that formula has been available for decades but car companies will never submit to it because it does not fit their business models.

Lets see how GM handles the Spark EV. If they follow the Smart car model, it should come in at under 20K after gov’t incentives.


Definitely a welcome entry level EV. No idea though how this author suggests a Smart EV is comparable to a Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt, or Ford focus. Sort of like compariing the gas version to a Chevy Malibu, Ford Taurus, or Nissan Altima. Makes the author look like they don’t get it. Still, welcome Smart EV. Keep em coming.


Any word on Canadian pricing?


Let’s compare a Smart EV with a Volt:

Smart EV glider retail cost (pre EV components) from above $7000, so EV components are $18,000. Volt “glider” cost estimate (includes engine but pre EV components) $22,000 (based on other cars on the same platform and non-EV components), so EV components cost $17,000.

Smart EV components: one 30KW(55kw peak) motor, one motor controller, 17.6kwh battery, @70kw peak power electronics, active air thermal management, and charger.

Volt EV components: One 110kw motor, one 60kw motor, two motor controller, 16.5kwh battery, @130 peak power electrons, EVT, liquid thermal management, and charger.

For $1000 less in EV component cost you sure get a lot more for the Volt.

If you are OK with useful all weather sustained lifetime range of about 37 miles highway and 45 miles city, 2-seat capacity, little cargo, and microcar size then the Smart is a great EV value.


I thought Tesla was supplying the pack for this.
Is that true??
Is the pack liquid cooled??

I drove both electric Smarts. The actual one and the previous one with the Tesla powertrain, and it was so slow. The German motor and battery are much better. Up to 50 mph, the new Smart has about the same performance as a Nissan Leaf. In a city car like this, that is very convincing.

George B

Thank you, Laurent. That’s what I’ve heard from Pitt Moos, their PM, as well. This should be a competent EV at a good price.

Shawn Marshall

dammit – getting itchy now!! Pull the trigger?? Buy Statik’s usewd one in two years??
Getting a lot closer to the sweet spot – a daily EV commuter for the two car family from a top brand!

We currently own an ’08 smart fortwo passion coupe that we hope to replace with this new electric drive version; it should serve nicely as a companion to our Nissan LEAF. We already have an L2 240V charger in our garage that we could alternate between the two. On all this discussion on costs, you do need to factor in the eventual ‘out of pocket’ as well as the driving experience. We traded in an ’06 Mazda3 GT 5-door hatch for the LEAF so it was about $17K after the fed tax credit and IL EPA rebates, not including fees and taxes … the LEAF offers a nicer interior, quiet & smooth ride and costs much less to run than even the small compact car it replaced, with the fixed electric rates of 6.6 cents per kWh we can get here it’s about 1.4 cents per mile. We expect the battery to last at least the 8 years in warranty and then just simply replace it and get another battery and as long as the body holds up to our salt, etc. have something that will last another 8 years, same would apply to his new smart … the electric… Read more »