Mark Webster, the general manager of Smart USA, spoke to AutoblogGreen at the Detroit Auto Show this week, and said that the plug-in version of the 453 (Smart's internal code for the new ForTwo, which replaces the 451) will not be available in the US until late 2016 or perhaps even early 2017.
What the means is that for around a year, Smart will sell the new gas-powered Fortwo next to old ED models on the same lot. While this is going to make the plug-in look a bit outdated, at least when the new ED goes on sale, it will come with a similar array of personalization and customization options as the current model does, Webster said. Any information beyond that is something we'll just have to sit and wait for. "Right now, we're not revealing too many statistics of the new cars becasue we're focusing on the EVs we have," he said, adding that, "We sold over 2,000 of these EVs last year and 921 in 2013. So we're doing very well." Smart sold 2,594 Fortwo EDs in the US last year.
Despite this delay in getting the new electric Fortwo to market, Webster said that Daimler is very committed to EVs, and he personally also handles the B-Class Electric. "We have other models we're working on down the road that are dedicated EVs," he said, without going into further detail. Check out our review of the new ICE Fortwo here.