Smart is Ditching Gas-Powered Cars to Go All-Electric in the U.S.


The Smart car just got a whole lot smarter. Daimler AG, the German company behind the distinctive little compact cars, has decided to drop all its gas-powered cars in the United States and Canada, switching to an entirely electric lineup.

In a letter to dealers obtained by Reuters, the gas variants will be discontinued in the fall — the point when the new model year starts in North America. The market is notably small for Daimler: 6,211 Smart cars were sold in the United States last year, compared to global sales of 144,479. Nonetheless, the brand’s previous decision to introduce electrified versions of all its cars shows it’s definitely interested in pushing the technology in its offerings.

Daimler unveiled the fully-electrified Smart lineup back in October, announcing three vehicles due for staggered release worldwide over the course of 2017. Every car in the lineup has a battery capacity of 17.6 kilowatt-hours, an 81 horsepower electric motor, a maximum speed of around 80 miles per hour, and a charging time from 20 to 100 percent of around 13 hours from a standard United States wall socket. With a specially-installed wall box, that charging time drops to two-and-a-half hours.

Smart Fortwo at NAIAS 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. 

Nick Lucchesi/Inverse

The cheapest model, the Smart Fortwo, has a recommended price of €21,940 ($23,323) in Germany, including 19 percent value added tax. Currently, it’s the only one of the three also on sale in the United States, starting at $12,490 after a $7,500 federal tax credit, and before any state and local savings. That gives an indicator of how much the other two models will retail for in American stores.

The Fortwo has a range of 160 kilometers (100 miles) and a 0-60 mph acceleration of 11.5 seconds. It’s a simple, affordable way to get into the electric car space, but the lack of extra seating or a convertible roof places it in the budget range.

The Smart Fortwo Cabrio.


The Smart Fortwo Cabrio, with a top-down roof, has a recommended price of €25,200 ($26,788) in Germany. It has a slightly slower acceleration, achieving 0-60 mph in 11.8 seconds, and it has a range of around 155 kilometers (96 miles). It’s pricier, slower, and doesn’t go as far, but it’s got the cool factor arguably lacking from the Fortwo.

The Smart Forfour (right) is noticeably larger than the other models.


The Smart Forfour, the only four-seater in the range, has a recommended price of €22,600 ($24,027) in Germany. It’s the slowest of the three, accelerating 0-60 mph in 12.7 seconds and has the same 155 kilometer (96 mile) range of the Fortwo Cabrio. It’s also the only real option for families or people with lots of friends to transport.

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