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Smart Electric Drive 2013

Back in 2008 when the first Smart Fortwo came out, I assumed it was an electric car. When I found out that it wasn’t electric, I lost interest in it, even with it’s very low price.

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Well, 5 years later, Diamler (the parent company) of Smart got smart and with the help of Tesla‘s technology, have finally come out with an electric version called the Smart Electric Drive 2013,

The COUPE model (MSRP $25k) is their low end model, and their CABRIOLET (MSRP $28k) is basically the same except for the electric convertible top with glass rear window. You can also lease one for around $139/mo. for 36 months w/ Battery Assurance Plus (BAP). With BAP, if anything goes wrong with your battery, they give you a new one free. The electric Smart gets 122 city/93 hwy. Like my Prius C, you get better mileage in the city.

Interestingly, the base model has more air bags than the Cabriolet model because the convertible top makes it impossible for them to put side air bags in the car. Of course, if you’re going to risk a convertible, you’re probably not worried about safety anyway.

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As you can see, there is less space in the back than even the Scion iQ, if that’s possible. Frankly, I’d rather have nothing like this than the useless rear seating in the iQ. When Smart says 2 seater, they mean it.

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Although I have not seen one in person, the interior seems to have the usual stuff. The electric version also has air conditioning, power windows and power steering. Nice “luxuries” for what would be considered a entry level sub-compact.

I’m trying to figure out the market for this car. It’s seems like it would be a good entry level car for young people who want an electric car but the MSRP is too high for that market. Even though you get a $7,500 federal tax credit, that doesn’t help you if you’re not making any money, and therefore don’t have $7,500 worth of taxes to write-off. Basically, it’s good for rich parents to buy for their kids.

The good news really is for Tesla. This proves their technology is solid and the fact the Diamler is willing to partner with them will keep their stock prices going in the right direction. And if the Smart electric sells enough cars, it will only help lower the price if Tesla cars in the future.

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