Raise Your Hand If You Want A SmartForTwo EV. Now, Show Your Wallet
Wired hit the proverbial nail on the proverbial head when it titled its recent review of the pure plug-in Smart ForTwo Electric Drive “Smart EV Would Be Smarter if It Were Cheaper.”
Well, it’s not. As a matter of fact, it’s insanely expensive.
Daimler’s Smart plans to make 1,500 ForTwo Electric Drives available for lease beginning this fall. If you want one, get in line. 250 of the 1,500 will be coming to America. Most will go to corporate fleets. 50 or so can be leased by the common Joe, if the common Joe can come up with the dough.
The lease for the battery-powered (batteries by Tesla) midgetmobile will be $600 a month for 48 month lease. That’s after the $7,500 federal EV tax credit. Without government largess, the lease would have been $915 a month. For a two seater. With batteries that are good for 82 miles. When that battery is down to 20 percent, plan on 3.5 hours on the charger to bring it up to 80 percent. That’s a 3.5 hour break every 50 miles. I don’t think so.
Who’s betting that some of the 50 cars will collect dust in the showroom? Or maybe it will be a niche car for guys with a mistress.
“Where’ve you been?”
“Sorry, honey, had to charge the car.”
“And why’s you hair wet?”
“Went to the gym while it was charging.”
The MINI-e, available by lease only, cost $800+ per month. The MINI-e is a two-seater as well. Plus, you, the person signing for the lease, had to pay for getting the charging station installed. If you didn't have an ample supply of electricity in your garage, you had to pay for that too. A guy in my township took out a lease on a MINI-e and then discovered it would cost him about $6000 to get a charging station installed in his detached garage. He found a sympathetic eco-weenie neighbor who already had the power in his garage. Frankly, if one has to go eco-weenie and sign up for a lease, the smart-ee seems like a bargain, compared to the MINI-e.
Two people within a block of me have (normal gasoline) Smarts. I have no idea why; I really should ask them. I live in what basically is a suburb (Riverside, CA). Parking is not at a premium here, and these suck as a freeway commuting car (like if you driving to downtown LA), unless you are going purely for the highest mileage vehicle you can get without paying the "hybrid premium".
I believe the correct term is "vertically challenged" mobile.
"Who’s betting that some of the 50 cars will collect dust in the showroom?" There are 300,000,000 people in this country, give or take; I'm quite sure there are 250 idiots out there that will buy this thing for the look-at-me factor alone. All that will be necessary to turn these things out to "Seen-As-Green" clique is a properly affixed "hybrid" badge/applique of some sort...