The Two Seat Cabrio Option May Not Be The Most Sensible...But It Seems Like A Lot Of Plug-In Fun For $28,000

US consumers had another plug-in option to choose from this past month - the Smart ForTwo Electric Drive.

Convertible Not Your Style? How About A Panoramic Roof?

And while the launch was from April into May by some last minute necessary legal-wranglings absolving concerned dealers about California laws that would see the franchisees legally responsible for rented battery backs (a US-first on the Smart ED), cars were released to some eager (and patient) EV enthusiasts on May 15th.

In fact, Smart managed to sell 60 of them to close out the month.  Historically, that is a pretty decent starting month for a pure electric car...and gives us an excuse to make another data chart.

Top Selling BEVS (current) In Their First Month On The US Market:

  1. Mitsubishi i-MiEV (then just the 'i') - 80 (Dec 2011)
  2. Toyota RAV4 EV - 61 (Sept 2012)
  3. Smart ED - 60 (May 2013)
  4. Nissan LEAF - 19 (Dec 2010)
  5. Tesla Model S - 12 (June 2012)
  6. Honda Fit EV - 7 (July 2012)
  7. Ford Focus Electric - 2 (Jan 2012)

2014 Smart ED Interior

All the pertinent info on the Smart Electric Drive:

  • EPA range rating of 68 miles, with the car getting 76 miles in the city and 59 on the highway
  • MPGe: 122 city, 93 hwy and 107 combined
  • 17.6 kWh lithium battery made by Deutsche ACCUmotive
  • 55kW (74 hp) electric motors that puts out 130 Nm (96 lb-ft of torque)
  • top speed: 78 mph
  • 0 - 62 mph in 11.5 seconds
  • 100% charge (240V) in 6 hours
  • 80% charge (240V) from 20% to 100% in 4.5 hours, 20% to 80% in 3.5 hours
  • length - 106.1 inches (8.8 feet), width - 61.4 inches, (5.1 feet), height - 60.7 inches (5.1 feet)
  • US Curb Weight: 2,094 lbs (coupe)  2138 lbs (cabrio)

As Part Of A $900 Option, You Get This

The Smart ED starts from $25,000 (pre-federal and state incentives), which is the least expense plug-in on the market today.  A Smart Cabrio is also available for some "open-air fun" from $28,000.

Currently the car is only in selected regions (think mostly CARB states; namely CA, CT, ME, MA, MD, NJ, NY, OR, RI, VT), however, a full national roll-out begins on September 1st of this year.

Update (September): Full national roll-out has been delayed until "early 2014"

Smart also offers three methods of ownership:

  • You buy the car outright and receive a 4 year/50,000 mile warranty on the vehicle (no option as of yet to extend that)
  • You lease the car.   Smart is promoting what seems to now be the "standard EV lease deal" of $199 a month with $2,000 down
  • You purchase or lease the car and then rent the battery. Inside this option you can:
    • Purchase and rent the battery: Smart USA values the battery pack inside the car at $5,010, so if you are purchasing the car, the base net is now $19,990.  Vehicle owners are then required to pay $80/per month on a 5 year/60 month term.  Smart has a renewal program entering month 61 that lets you extend the deal for another 5 years, at the same $80/month rate.
    • Lease and rent the battery: similar to the lease deal, except in this case you are looking at $119 lease and a $80 battery rental
More details on the car (and available options) can be found  smart's homepage on the Electric Drive can be found here.

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