2013 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive with sculpture

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.
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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.