That battery-swapping thing may be a little much for most electric-vehicle drivers to handle, but battery leasing is apparently right up their alley, judging by early sales of the Smart Fortwo ED battery-electric vehicle.

The Fortwo EV, which went into production a year ago in France and started US sales on May 10, moved 60 units during those three weeks of May sales, with all but seven of the drivers opting for the battery-leasing option, Inside EVs says, citing an interview with Smart USA chief Mark Webster. More than half the EVs were sold in California; about a quarter were convertibles. Sales were "where we expected it," Webster told Inside EVs.

Smart sells the Smart ED for about $20,000 without the battery, and leases the battery for around $80 a month. Battery-inclusive leases run $199 a month.


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