By on January 16, 2015

smart-fortwo-electric-detroit-2015-8-1

Though the new Smart Fortwo is coming to showrooms in the United States later this year, the Electric Drive model won’t be available just yet.

Autoblog reports that the redesigned EV won’t hit U.S. showrooms for “approximately a year after” the ICE variant arrives, per Smart USA general manager Mark Webster, with the date of arrival set for between late 2016 and early 2017. No explanation for the delay was given when interviewed by AutoblogGreen.

Until then, Smart plans to sell the previous generation Fortwo EV alongside the new ICE model. Webster stated that the brand moved over 2,000 units of the Fortwo ED in 2014, 921 in 2013. He added that parent company Daimler AG was “very committed” to electrification, explaining without going into specifics that other EVs were in the works.

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23 Comments on “Webster: Smart Fortwo Electric Drive Arriving ‘A Year After’ ICE Model...”


  • avatar

    Will this vaunted SmartForTwoEV perhaps require PREMIUM ELECTRICITY to attain the mere 37mpg or whatever the GAS version attained on REQUIRED HIGH TEST gasoline HIGHWAYmpg?

  • avatar
    kovakp

    If they’d put a 5″ lift on these I’d test drive one.

  • avatar
    Nick_515

    This effectively addresses the two main (interrelated)complaints about it – unimpressive fuel economy and coarse driving experience (that automatic).

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Now, if they could only address the “reason to exist” issue

      • 0 avatar
        heavy handle

        Go to any European city and you will quickly figure out the Smart’s reason to exist. The same reasons hold true in the US, provided you live in a city. As we know, the average American household owns more than 2 cars, so being an all-rounder isn’t all that critical.

        Hated the transmission on the previous Smart, but I loved the non-power steering (base model only). I would consider getting one just to feel that direct connection to the front wheels and short wheelbase. I guess I can park it next to the shed…

        The new Smart is interesting. It has the smallest turning circle of any car, and it’s available with a manual transmission (in Europe).

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          Smart is a money loser. Yes, they sell more of them in Europe, but not enough for prices high enough to turn a profit.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            That’s Daimler’s problem, not mine.
            The new car is a joint project with Renault, so at least a few MBAs must think that there’s money to be made.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The point is that the demand dynamics in Europe are not compelling enough to produce a profit.

            The theory of the car that was short enough for perpendicular parking in a parallel space was good. The practice, not so much.

            Public transportation usually beats the micro car on price and convenience, while the experience of using that same car outside of the city is subpar. So the market is limited.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            What about kei cars in Japan? Could the success or failure of the microcar also be influenced by culture?

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            Pch,

            Are you sure about the profit thing? I know it gets trotted-out every time someone mentions a Smart here, but last time I looked into it, it was all based on an article from 10 years ago claiming that Daimler had written-off some development costs from 10 years before that. Not coincidentally, Daimler declared a huge profit that same year, which means that their CFO would have been looking high and low for any and all writeoffs.

            Anything more recent than that? I’m surprised they would sign-up for a third generation if, as you say, the market is not big enough to turn a profit.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            As far as I know, Daimler has never admitted to the losses. But the analysts can reasonably conclude that the losses are there based upon other information.

            Kei cars are a completely different game. They get highly favorable tax treatment compared to standard cars. The Japanese irrational passion to own cars, even though ownership is not easy and there is a used car inspection regime that discourages long-term ownership, are additional factors.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I should append to the above that European CO2 regulations are encouraging automakers there to produce EVs because they help with compliance. (The new regulations in Europe are similar to the first version of CAFE — the vehicles that use minimal amounts of motor fuel help to offset the gas guzzlers.) An electric Smart will help to offset S-class sales — the losses from the EV should be offset by profits from the flagship.

        • 0 avatar
          Maymar

          Forget it man, it’s TTAC, the right answer for everyone is a W-Body Impala with the 3.6 and a lift-kit (easier to get into, you see).

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            So, there’s nothing in the middle? One extreme or the other? Nope

          • 0 avatar
            Maymar

            Well yes, but is there ever a discussion of small cars that doesn’t involve someone mentioning that for just a few thousand more, you could easily get a larger car (or a gently used one for the same price).

            Want a smart? No, you really would be better off with, like, a Yaris.

            But honestly, the Corolla is a better choice than the Yaris, so you should get that.

            But really, the Corolla doesn’t have a V6, the Impala does, so that’s what you really want. It gets 30mpg highway (just don’t ask about the city number)!

        • 0 avatar
          bumpy ii

          New one gets a 90hp turbo 3-banger, with manual or DCT in the US. And yes, steering feel from the non-power box is one of the things I miss about mine.

        • 0 avatar
          ect

          Dieter Zetsche, July 2014:

          “Following a restructuring seven-eight years ago, Smart hasn’t had a considerable negative influence on our overall business and we now want to turn this into a positive influence,”

          That’s the issue they’re looking to address.

  • avatar
    redav

    Given the intent of Smart, it may be better to drop the ICE and just go electric only.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      Eh, as one of the Smart’s most predominate (certainly at the expense of other things) strengths is its ease of parking, going electric only would rule out buyers who don’t have parking spots (and ergo, nowhere to charge it).

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “Smart USA general manager Mark Webster”

    So do you imagine Mark’s company car is a “Smart” or a Mercedes?

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    I thought only Domino’s Pizza owned EV Smarts.

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