The third-generation Smart Fortwo Electric Drive is still set for arrival in the US in "Spring 2013," according to Smart.

Smart Fortwo Electric Drive cabriolet.

Smart Fortwo Electric Drive cabriolet.

With its launch looming, let's re-examine what this version of the Fortwo Electric Drive offers for its low price of only $25,000 before federal tax credits.

Charged up for the arrival of the third-generation Fortwo Electric Drive?

Charged up for the arrival of the third-generation Fortwo Electric Drive?

Unlike previous versions, the third-gen Fortwo ED seems set to actually compete with other electric vehicles available today.  

The upcoming 2013 version boasts a range of 68 miles courtesy of its 17.6-kWh lithium-ion battery pack.  Additionally, its 55-kW, 96 pound-feet of torque electric motor is capable of propelling the 2013 Fortwo ED from 0 to 37 mph in 4.8 seconds and from 0 to 62 mph in a decent 11.5 seconds, roughly twice as quick from 0 to 62 mph as the outgoing version.  Top speed is now listed at 78 mph and a full recharge can be accomplished in 6 hours using a Level 2 charger.

Of course, its price is most enticing.   After the federal tax credit of $7,500, the 2013 Fortwo Electric Drive costs only $17,500 and if you factor in state- and local-level rebates, then pricing drops below $15,000 for some potential buyers.  

Smart claims the Fortwo ED will become the most affordable pure electric vehicle available in the US.  That's likely true, but with deals like $69 per month Mitsubishi i, and the $199/month 2013 Nissan LEAF S model,  the 2013 Fortwo Electric Drive certainly enters a field with some cheap competition.