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We're getting our first drive in the 2013 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive today, and Smart just announced pricing for the latest version of its all-electric minicar. The starting price for the ForTwo ED Coupe will be $25,000 (*plus delivery fees), making it the lowest price electric vehicle in the U.S. from a mainstream automaker – and that doesn't even include the available $7,500 federal tax credit.

With the tax credit figured in, the starting price works out to $17,500. Add in the required $825 destination charge and up to $2,200 for a home charger, and the 2013 ForTwo ED Coupe will essentially start at just $20,525 – $1,100 cheaper than the Mitsubishi i-MiEV. Of course, customers who already have home charging stations can save even more. Smart has said that it will offer two different home chargers that range in price from $1,300 to $1,700, and it is estimating installation will cost somewhere in the $300 to $500 range.

While we do know the starting prices for the new ForTwo ED, options and lease prices have not been announced. For comparison, the previous-generation ForTwo ED had a lease price of $599 a month.

Scroll down for more information on the 2013 Smart ForTwo ED, and look for it in dealers this spring.
Show full PR text
the all-new smart fortwo electric drive

MONTVALE, NJ – The new generation smart fortwo electric drive is a natural next step for the trend-setting smart brand. In light of the brand's environmental leadership, the zero-emission electric drive is an evolutionary extension of the fortwo, which has led the autoindustry in urban mobility and energy conservation.

The smart fortwo electric drive is a zero-emission visual statement that further defines thespirit of smart. Based on the iconic smart fortwo, and available in coupe and cabriolet bodystyles, the new generation smart fortwo electric drive has the smallest footprint of any caron U.S. roads and represents a key step in sustainable transportation. It enters the U.S. market at an ideal time as the United States is setting policy goals for reducing CO2 and dependence on fossil fuels.

development of the smart fortwo electric drive
smart fortwo electric drive was part of the smart concept from the very start. When thesmart design was first conceived more than 20 years ago, smart developers anticipated theneed for alternative powertrains. As a result, designers didn't have to make anycompromises in the safety, agility, comfort and space of the smart fortwo electric drive.

The electric drive battery fits right where the fuel tank usually goes, in the underfloor area between the front and rear wheels, while the electric motor replaces the conventional engine between the rear wheels. As a result, the electric drive looks just like a normal fortwo. The electric drive has the same outside footprint, the same interior room, the same cargo space and the same high level of safety that have come to define the smart fortwo.

development milestones
Beginning in 2007, the first smart electric drive pilot project involved 100 cars that were tested in downtown London by companies and other fleet owners, a majority of whom had approached smart about participating in the test. London was an ideal test environment because of its high traffic congestion, parking shortages, noise and pollution. The test cars were equipped with high-temperature sodium-nickel-chloride batteries that work at about 600°F degrees, providing a range of about 60 miles. The batteries required pre-heating, and were housed in insulated cases similar to large double-wall thermos bottles.

The next generation began in 2009 and went broader with more than 2,000 cars in 18 markets around the world, including 250 electric drive vehicles for the United States (not including an additional 300 units in operation by sister company Car2Go). These cars used lithium-ion batteries, which were more efficient and operated at normal temperatures, with arange of about 63 miles on a full charge. Like the first-phase cars, the motors produced 20 kilowatts of continuous power, plus a peak power of 30 kilowatts for passing and accelerating.

Targeted to early adopters who helped to define new alternatives in transportation and were making a passionate statement about energy conservation and environmental awareness, the 250 electric drive cars in the United States were spread nationwide, with an emphasis on regions such as Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. where vehicle charging stations are more readily available.

Placements included companies, municipalities and individuals under a four-year, 40,000-mile lease agreement starting at $599 a month for an electric-drive coupe. A $7,500 federal subsidy for electric vehicles was factored into the lease price, but it didn't include state and local subsidies that further reduced the price in some areas. Participants had direct access to the smart USA team, received special communications about the electric drive experience and were invited to forums and special events.

The new generation smart electric drive will retail at $25,000, making it the most affordable production electric vehicle in the U.S. A companion cabriolet model will retail at $28,000 when both models hit the U.S. market in the spring of 2013. Customers may also be eligiblefor federal tax credits (which run up to $7,500) or state/local tax credits, further reducing the cost.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 108 Comments
      Zoom
      • 2 Years Ago
      So a Smart 4-2 without the crappy transmission? Sweet.
      Peter
      • 2 Years Ago
      The $32,995 Wheego rolls silently out of the room and wheeps.
      Spiffster
      • 2 Years Ago
      So whats that like $11500 if purchased in Colorado... not sure exactly what the state rebate would be on this car but I imagine it should be the full $6000. (25000 - 7500) - 6000 = 11500
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spiffster
        1) I can't believe Colorado has a $6K refund. That is insane. They need to reduce that. 2) I can't believe everyone is not totally taking advantage of it. 3) I CAN'T BELIEVE EVERYONE IS NOT TAKING ADVANTAGE OF IT! A $11,500 is pretty much A FREE CAR. You'll save like $1500 per year in gasoline. If you drive that for ten years that is $15,000 in gas savings. OK, you'll pay for the electricity . . . but you'll still come out ahead.
          MTN RANGER
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          I know! If I lived in CO, I'd have three PEVs.
          Spiffster
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          I agree with all three points... points 2 and 3 are why it can apparently happen here. Its insane, but I will gladly take advantage. We will be a 2 EV family very soon.
      Marcopolo
      • 2 Years Ago
      One more small urban commuter EV enters the market. Even though this little car has a lot of limitations, it will still perform the function it's designed to do satisfactorily. More importantly, it will accustom people to seeing small EV's on the streets of large cities, and encourages acceptance of EV technology. The Smart for Two is really a motor-scooter replacement, for those who don't want the inconvenience of two-wheel transport in an urban environment !
        DaveMart
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Marcopolo
        Hi Marco. Out of interest you and Spec took me to task for using the European price of cars, less VAT, as a rough guide to potential US prices. In particular I remember you arguing that costs in the US are wildly different. Well, when the car was released in Germany I gave $24,000 for the US inclusive of battery: http://green.autoblog.com/2012/06/12/next-gen-electric-smart-ed-goes-on-sale-in-germany-battery-lease/ That cost clearly did not cover delivery of charging point installation. I think that being within $1,000 is pretty good, and shows that this is a reasonable way to estimate prices, although not, of course, perfect. I intend to use the same methodology to estimate prices for future models which may hit the US.
        DaveMart
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Marcopolo
        Hi Marco. Let me know how the new venture goes. The method I use for guessing at the price in the US may still have a limited track record, but it is better than the alternative, which as far as I know is nothing! It is certainly early days for fuel cells in marine applications, but you have to start somewhere. In bigger boats it is being used for ancillary power, especially useful in LPG tankers, as the vapour from the LPG can power them. Even partial use of fuel cells in marine applications has very large pollution control effects, as diesel engines are inefficient at part load, typically coming into harbour.
        Marcopolo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Marcopolo
        @ Dave Mart "I intend to use the same methodology to estimate prices for future models which may hit the US." Um, one swallow doesn't make a summer ! Thank you for referring me to the article on "Hydrogenesis". Although, Hydrogenesis, is a very small passenger ferry, it's certainly a promising start, and very appropriate as it sails past the SS Great Britain. (Well worth a drive to Bristol ). I have just taken over a failed project/enterprise commenced to build electrically powered pleasure craft and small working vessels,fishing, pilot vessels etc). Like most of these projects, it failed due to unrealistic management, but had completed some valuable R&D.
        DaveMart
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Marcopolo
        Marco: Here is an article which will be on interest, given your concern about marine emissions: '‘Hydrogenesis’, Bristol’s hydrogen-powered ferry is in the final stages of its pre-launch testing and certification process, before it begins a six-month trial as a 12-person passenger ferry on the harbour later this month. The local consortium building the boat – Bristol Hydrogen Boats Ltd – and its supplier of the refuelling infrastructure, Air Products, will give presentations to industry experts on its innovative features and benefits and the potential to seed the development of further hydrogen powered transport and industrial projects in the city-region. Bristol aims to be a key hub in the hydrogen highway along the M4 linking London, Swindon and South Wales and via the M5 to the Midlands. Jas Singh, Managing Director of Auriga Energy Ltd and a spokesperson for the consortium said: “The innovative and ground breaking Hydrogenesis ferry will bring a new era of quiet and emission free operations to the Bristol Harbour and add to Bristol’s industrial heritage. This showcase is an exciting glimpse into the future of hydrogen powered integrated road and marine transport with Bristol at the leading edge.” Cllr Neil Harrison, Assistant Cabinet Member, said: “This is a great opportunity to showcase Bristol’s engineering and green tech excellence. The city has a thriving environmental technology sector and the hydrogen-powered ferry is an innovative project that is a genuine UK-first.' http://fuelcellsworks.com/news/2012/10/03/bristol-hosts-high-tech-hydrogen-road-tour/ Unfortunately I was unable to attend the Bristol hydrogen road show.
      Dave
      • 2 Years Ago
      They shoulda put in another $5000 worth of batteries and made it the longest range $30k EV. (Or at least make it an option)
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dave
        [blocked]
      rmkensington
      • 2 Years Ago
      Still a useless toy like all other electric cars that dont have a gas backup
        Sorten Borten
        • 2 Years Ago
        @rmkensington
        The majority of Americans do two things that make this car very practical: 1) drive fewer than 30 miles per day 2) sleep at night There will of course be people who can't fit this into their lives, particularly if they are in single car households or if they commute crazy distances. As a second household car that is used for commuting average distances this is perfect.
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @rmkensington
        Useless toy? I mean all it can do is get you back & forth to work. Use it to go grocery shopping. Drive the mall/movies. Basically it can do everything your car currently does except go on long trips. And it only costs around a penny per mile in fuel. Oh wait, it is not useless at all.
        Zoom
        • 2 Years Ago
        @rmkensington
        If all you do is putt around town why is it a useless toy?
      Seventy8
      • 2 Years Ago
      A $25,000 golf cart you cna drive on the streets. 25 Large, Really?!
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Seventy8
        What golf-cart has crash test approval, can go 70mph, and costs only a couple cents per mile to drive?
        brotherkenny4
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Seventy8
        An 80K cadillac escalade makes a lot of sense doesn't it.
        Timothy Tibbetts
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Seventy8
        If I bought a golf cart for Florida cruising around town, it would have a back seat so it would seat 4. It would lack protection from the elements but I could add it. So, yeah I am with you, it makes little sense although the golf carts are limited to certain streets. I am glad to see the competition because as far as I am concerned the current crop of EV choices doubles the prices of many cars which I assume they have no intention of lowering the prices, just improving technology and charging more. I look and look and just can't bring myself to even buy a hybrid.
        Wacko
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Seventy8
        But this 25000 golf cart has no place for you golf clubs
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Wacko
          [blocked]
      Rob J
      • 2 Years Ago
      Considering the biggest fault of the Smart (at least in my mind) is the absolutely effing TERRIBLE transmission - this actually makes the car a lot more appealing.
      DaveMart
      • 2 Years Ago
      This car uses the Li-Tec battery, rated at 400,000 km, or around 250,000 miles. Let's keep our arithmetic simple and say that the car last 20 years at 10,000 miles a year ( about par for the course for electric vehicles) and costs $20,000. That comes to $1,000 a year, plus electricity at, say, 10 cents kwh and 4 miles kwh Assume 12,000 miles a year, and you come to $300 a year. Total excluding maintenance ( less than a petrol car ) $1,300/year Petrol car - let's assume $12,000 And assume petrol at $4/gallon (for the next 20 years!) And 50/gallon Total petrol year = $960 Petrol bill for 20 years = $19,200 Plus purchase price = $31,200 Price per year = $1,560 So assuming petrol prices do not rise over the next 20 years, and excluding the extra costs of maintenance on a petrol car, including oil changes, more frequent brake servicing etc you are still in profit by going electric.
        Spiffster
        • 2 Years Ago
        @DaveMart
        Very good points. Unfortunately people tend to see things at face value, and dont think that far into the future. EVs will always have the TCO advantage over conventional autos in the long run... the more you drive, and the longer you keep the car, the more you will save with an EV.
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @DaveMart
        You gave the petrol car some ridiculous advantages there. $4/gallon is less than what I currently pay in California. I'm sure you pay more in the UK. 50miles per gallon? You don't get close to that with a gas Smart. And keeping that petrol price constant for 20 years? Pure fantasy. And yet the electric version still beats it.
      PeterScott
      • 2 Years Ago
      The gas powered smart is probably the worse car you can buy today. Not really that efficient considering the size. Terrible transmission. Horrible winter traction. Poor ride and handling. But as EV commuter for cities in moderate climates this smart EV can make a lot of sense. The big question is the range. A low EPA number may kill it. I can't see a pure EV car with less than 50 mile range finding much of an audience.
        DaveMart
        • 2 Years Ago
        @PeterScott
        I'd be perfectly happy with this, for what it is. I am not sure of the test cycle, likely the rather more generous European one, but it is rated at 90 miles. possibly about 70 miles on the EPA. However it is going to keep you going at that range for a long, long time, as the liquid cooled battery: 'Evonik and Daimler indicate that the new Li-Tec lithium ion battery has an incredible service life of as much as 400,000 km, which is more than four times the life announced by other automotive battery suppliers.' http://theirearth.com/index.php/news/daimler-ag-and-evonik-industries-lithium-ion-jv You are not going to want to drive this little car more than 70 miles anyway, so it should be fine for what it is designed for
        DaveMart
        • 2 Years Ago
        @PeterScott
        The extra weight should help the traction somewhat.
      Making11s
      • 2 Years Ago
      I understand the appeal of these things in tight urban areas, but when I see them in the suburbs I just roll my eyes.
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Making11s
        So you are a snob then?
          Making11s
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          No. I'm just not a man who sees a screw and seeks out a hammer.
          Making11s
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          Besides, I don't roll my eyes because of price. smart cars are only truly practical in the city. There are cheaper, more efficient cars out there that make perfect sense in the suburbs.
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          maybe someone bought in while living in the city... and had since moved to the suburbs.
        MTN RANGER
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Making11s
        Some people commute from suburbs to tight city parking for work.
        PeterScott
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Making11s
        I don't understand the appeal of the gas powered Smart anywhere. It is just a horrible car.
          Sean
          • 2 Years Ago
          @PeterScott
          Its very good at parking
      hahiran
      • 2 Years Ago
      For a car this small you don't even need a 220 charger. We barely needed ours for our Leaf, and managed nicely for 6 months until the 220 version was installed. I encourage people to try charging their cars from the wall before investing $2K in a L2 charger, just make sure you aren't overloading a circuit.
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @hahiran
        Yeah, I've noticed that as well. Solar City has been botching the install of my charger but I'm doing fine with 120V charger. No, I don't always manage to get it charged up to full all the time but as long as I get enough charge for the day's driving, it works.
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          that sucks, sorry to hear.
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          how have they botched it? what region are you in?
        MTN RANGER
        • 2 Years Ago
        @hahiran
        Volt owners get an excellent deal from SPX. Their Voltec L2 EVSE is only $490. That's about 50% cheaper than most other L2 EVSEs (however it is limited to 3.3kW charging). https://homecharging.spx.com/volt/Display.aspx?id=7&menu=14
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