Smart Electric Drive Launches May 15th Lease Battery Rental …

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SMART ed cabrio – 55kW 74bhp Auto

Smart Electric Drive Launches May 15th Lease, Battery Rental And Option Details

Smart Fortwo Electric Drive Cabriolet In Us Customers Hands On May 15th, 2013

After a couple delays in getting the Smart ED (Electric Drive) into the hands of customers in the United States, the first of the 2 seat, 68 mile  cars will be released on Wednesday, May 15th.

Open-Top Fun Starts At $28,000

The first wave of cars will only be in selected regions, think mostly CARB states; namely CA, CT, ME, MA, MD, NJ, NY, OR, RI, VT.  A full national roll-out begins on September 1st of this year.

Update (September):   National rollout has been delayed until early 2014

It should be noted that Canadian deliveries went off basically as planned, with the first cars being delivered in mid-April.

The Smart Ed comes in two basic trims.  The first being the coupe which starts at $ 25,000 . with a Cabrio model for some open-air fun also available from $28,000 .  There is also a $750 dollar destination charge that also applies to both models.

One of the more intriguing things about the Smart Ed is that it is the electric vehicle in the US to offer three different financing options, including the recently announced battery rental deal.

Here is how the three deals work (as we have learned from the dealership level):

You buy the car outright and receive a 4 year/50,000 mile warranty on the vehicle (no option as of yet to extend that)

You lease the car.    Smart is promoting what seems to now be the standard EV lease deal   of $199 a month with $2,000 down

You purchase or lease the car and then rent the battery

A Look Inside The Smart Electric Drive

It is the third option is what we are most interested in exploring, especially recognizing that it was this financing option that actually caused the Smart ED s introduction to be delayed in the US, as lawyers hashed out a way to absolve the dealerships of the liability on the batteries as is required of them in places like California.

Inside the battery rental offer:

Purchase and rent the battery: Smart USA values the battery pack inside the car at $5,010, so if you are purchasing the car, the base net is now $19,990.  Vehicle owners are then required to pay $80/per month on a 5 year/60 month term.  Smart has a renewal program entering month 61 that lets you extend the deal for another 5 years, at the same $80/month rate.

Lease and rent the battery: similar to the lease deal, except in this case you are looking at $119 lease and a $80 battery rental

As Always, Black Is The Proper Choice When Selecting The Color Of An Electric Car

It should be noted that under this program, Smart now warranties your battery pack to retain 80% of its charge for the duration of the contract, up to 12,500 miles per year.

Purchase, finance, or lease a smart electric drive and we ll rent you the battery, guaranteeing its capacity level and covering your annual battery maintenance costs for 10 years. And if you need a replacement battery during your rental term, it s on us. How s that for peace of mind? — Smart USA

If at anytime you want to break the rental deal, you can, provided you then purchase the aforementioned battery at the full $5,000 valuation.  If you don t wish to buy the battery and also own the car, that is also apparently an option as Smart s fine print says once you cancel, you will be required to return the battery to mercedes-benz financial services.   We have no clue exactly how this works, or why anyone would choose this option.

Note Value Added Marketing Graphics By Smart USA

Basic Smart ED specs:

EPA range rating of 68 miles, with the car getting 76 miles in the city and 59 on the highway

MPGe: 122 city, 93 hwy and 107 combined

17.6 kWh lithium battery made by Deutsche ACCUmotive

55kW (74 hp) electric motors that puts out 130 Nm (96 lb-ft of torque)

top speed: 78 mph

0 62 mph in 11.5 seconds

100% charge (240V) in 6 hours

80% charge (240V) from 20% to 100% in 4.5 hours , 20% to 80% in 3.5 hours

all season tires 155/60R15 on 4.5Jx15 ( front ), 175/55R15 on 5.5Jx15 ( rear )

length 106.1 inches ( 8.8 feet ), width 61.4 inches, ( 5.1 feet ), height 60.7 inches ( 5.1 feet )

US Curb Weight: 2,094 lbs ( coupe )  2138 lbs ( cabrio )

Ok, This Is Not The Best Selling Feature Of The Car

Smart ED Options:

Ambient Internal lighting system ( $190 )

Multimedia Navigation system ( $1,290 )

Surround system ( $490 )

Center Console Storage ( $30 )

SMART ed cabrio – 55kW 74bhp Auto

Retractable Cargo Cover ($99 )

Heated Seats ( $240 )

Anti-theft alarm system ( $200 )

LED daytime running Lamps ( $250 )

As Part Of A $900 Option, You Get This Kinetic Green Trim Around Your Instrument Cluster

Smart ED Packages:

Kinetic Green Appearance package ($900)

Green painted tridion

White body panels

Green interior accents

White wheels

Technology Package ($1,600)

Multimedia Navigation System

Surround Sound System

While the Smart ED has all the quirky spartan-coolness you could stand in a 2-seat, open top electric car, it has lost the pricing advantage it had 7 months ago when the car was first announced, as the new 2013 Nissan LEAF S model is now entering its third month on the market with a near identical lease deal, and a similar price of $28,800 .

So, will the uniqueness of the Smart Ed make up for the lack of functionality, range and the loss of 3 seats that you can purchase in the LEAF for basically the same amount of money?  That is a question yet unanswered.

To check out more details in the battery rental program, called the Smart Battery Assurance Plus program, check out the PDF  here.  To build your own Smart ED, or learn more about the car, check out the company s new webpage here .

Below: Smart ED Gallery (double click)

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SMART ed cabrio – 55kW 74bhp Auto
SMART ed cabrio – 55kW 74bhp Auto
SMART ed cabrio – 55kW 74bhp Auto
SMART ed cabrio – 55kW 74bhp Auto
SMART ed cabrio – 55kW 74bhp Auto

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