Smart Quietly Makes the Electric Drive Available From $23,000, Or $139 Leases*

AUG 6 2013 BY JAY COLE 20

The Lowest Priced EV Just Got A Little Lower...If You Know How To Get It

The Lowest Priced EV Just Got A Little Lower…If You Know How To Get It

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.


smart Advertises a $139* Lease With Battery Assurance Plus On Their Website

smart Advertises a $139* Lease With Battery Assurance Plus On Their Website

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.

Yarrr, Here Be The Fine Print

Yarrr, Here Be The Fine Print, Click To Enlarge If You Dare!

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.

Little Known Fact*:  All Electric Cars Are Faster In Black   (*maybe not a real fact)

Another Little Known Fact* — All Electric Cars Are Faster In Black (*maybe not a real fact)

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!!!

Categories: Smart


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20 Comments on "Smart Quietly Makes the Electric Drive Available From $23,000, Or $139 Leases*"

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Congratulations Jay and ther Insideevs writers with 2000 articles. You have become my favourite website this year! Keep on the good work!!

Congrats on 2000 posts!

Thanks guys!!! We’re sure to blow past 3,000 in no time…The EV news these days just keeps pouring in!!!

And from me also, a big thank you to the InsideEVs team, a great consolidation of EV news with at times a good sense of humour.

Wait, if they can offer the $13k gas Smart at $99/month, what makes a $17.5k e-Smart at $139/month so damn inconceivable? Since when am I financing the full non-US-tax-rebate price of an EV when I lease it?

How does the battery lease work? What happens at the end of the lease, is there an end to the lease? How do you resell the car?

Congratulations on 2000 posts. I’ve read them all….

The best EV website going—congrats and keep up the good work.

Happy birthday!

I’ve started looking at this site regularly only a couple of months ago – but it has quickly become one of my favorites.

Keep it up and thank you for all the hard work and good vibes,


smart ed is at the docks right now should be at oxnard dealer by the weekend cant wait to pick it up!

The EV price war rages on! Woo-hoo! Consumers win!

$23K minus $7500 tax-credit minus $2500 incentive from California = a $13K EV. Granted it is a small 2-seater Smart ED but for $13K you can pick up a little commuter vehicle and no longer be beholden to the oil companies, OPEC, gas stations, etc.

Ferrari’s, Lamborghini’s, Bugatti’s, McLaren’s have 2 seats so whats your point? It has plenty of room and is a hell of a lot fun to drive. Also $500 test drive coupon and $1,000 smart loyalty cash.

Per smartusa:

smart Customer Loyalty Cash of $1,000 available for current smart, Mercedes-Benz and/or Sprinter owners or lessees. Valid registration required. Excludes the all-new electric drive.

Taking a cab is safer and could be cheaper. If you count the true cost of ownership a cap is better since it is at least safer than this car that hardly has any crumble zone!

I test drove a (God-awful first or second gen) Smart ED here in the UK 2 years ago at our local Mercedes dealer (my wife has a petrol one).

Strangely, I have not heard a dicky-bird out of them since, so clearly they are not bothered about selling the production Smart ED in the UK!