Smart Quietly Makes the Electric Drive Available From $23,000, Or $139 Leases*
Since the smart ED’s launch in May of this year, the electric ForTwo has been the most inexpensive plug-in available on the US market. The Electric Drive version of the popular mini car has a 68 mile range (EPA) and starts from $25,000 (+$750 destination) for the coupe, and from $28,000 on the Cabrio (convertible). Leasing also started a very competitive $199 month with $1,999 down.
Then over the past few days there has been some mention of a $139 lease offer from smart (which originated as best we can tell from a Kelley Blue Book review), but still with a reported MSRP of $25,750…which naturally made little sense.
Adding to the confusion, was smart’s own website touting a seemingly similar $139 lease offer, but only in conjunction with their “Battery Assurance Plus” package, which sees lease-holders rent the battery from smart for $80/month.
The combining of these two separate news items have let to a sea of non-understanding amongst a good portion of the EV enthusiast community, and quite frankly a lot of wonky re-reporting around the Interwebs adding to the choas, with commentators and forum members all too delighted to quote the fine print under smart’s advertised “lease deal” to say the $139 was not a real thing.
Well, they were right…and wrong. And we are happy to set the record straight!
- smart’s website has nothing to do with consumer’s getting a $139 straight lease (including battery)
- the MSRP is still $25,000 and the basic lease from $199/month
That being said, you can get a smart ED both leased from $139/month (including battery) or from $23,000 Coupe/$26,000 Cabrio…its all about the incentives. But in this case, dealer incentives.
What smart has made available is $2,000 in “marketing assistance” for dealers directly to sell the smart ED. In other words, it is not a lowering of the MSRP, or a rebate on the lease, this money is provider to the dealer directly to give them a “competitive advantage” (Mercedes language to us in answering our inquiry).
In other words, how to effectively use the money is at the dealer’s option, and it is not advertised. He/she can lower the MSRP by $2,000 or $1,000 or $500, or use the money for advertising, or a special event…or maybe a new pool table for his or her guest house.
However, if you are in the market for a smart ED, and with this knowledge in hand, we feel that an educated consumer can probably swing this dealer incentive to their own advantage…especially if they are willing to make the trek to the next closest dealer if they don’t get it.
Effectively, this $2,000 incentive makes the smart ED available from $23,000 … or $139/month.
We just recently did a piece about what automakers cared the most about selling electric vehicles, and we put smart at the very top of that list so far…this just underlines it.
Sidenote: This here post marks the 2,000th for InsideEVs, which is quite the coincidence with smart offering $2,000 off on this 2,000th post!!!