News Column

Tiny Smart Electric Model to Come With Small Price

Oct. 8, 2012

Chris Woodyard, USA TODAY

Smart ED. Overlaet, Creative Commons. Some rights reserved.
Smart ED. Overlaet, Creative Commons. Some rights reserved.

The battery version of the small Smart car from Germany's Daimler will have the smallest price in the U.S. for an electric car from a major automaker when it arrives in the spring.

Smart USA, now being run by Daimler's Mercedes-Benz USA unit, says the two-seat coupe will be priced at $25,000 and the cabriolet (convertible) will be $28,000. Buyers also may qualify for federal tax subsidies. The base is about $8,000 less than other EVs, such as Nissan Leaf.

"A signature characteristic of the Smart brand is its commitment not only to being green but to making people think differently about it," said Tracey Matura, general manager of Smart in a statement. "Green can be fun. Green can be affordable. And a lot of us don't really need a four-seater, or at least not for every trip."

Now that Smart is under M-B USA, with an ad budget, sales are better. Year-to-date sales are up 95% from 2011 to 7,311. Also helping: about $1,400 in incentives as of last month, a $99-per-month lease and fleet sales to Daimler's Car2go hourly rental service.

The Smart electric won't exactly have blazing speed: zero to 60 miles per hour in a leisurely 12 seconds. No word yet on the range per charge.

Source: Copyright USA TODAY 2012

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