Now that city drivers are familiar with the sight of compact, cute Smart cars zipping around, Smart Electric is debuting in the USA. Electric Smart cars were always planned, and they have been successfully driving around in Europe for a little while now. It makes sense to bring electric Smarts to the States. May is an exciting month for electric car owners because test drives are being planned already.
You can use any household electricity socket to power your Smart, and this is part of the appeal for Smart drivers. Here’s what you need to know about the debut of electric Smarts in the U.S. (and electric Smarts in general).
Electric Smarts’ range on one charge
The most important factor is the range a Smart car can get on one charge. They have been tested and shown to get 76 miles in the city, 59 on the highway, for 68 combined. Since they say the average American drives 29 miles each day, this should be more than enough for a commute. Better still, if you’re commuting, you may be able to plug in at your workplace and charge up for the drive home.
Charging stations are more efficient
Using a charging station to fuel up the battery is more efficient than your average outlet. This is because a standard household outlet is 120V, but a charging station’s output is 240V. Therefore, your charging time is reduced significantly. You can buy a charging station to install at home if you want the speed, as a 240V station can charge a battery from flat to full in 6 hours, or from 20% to 80% in just 3.5 hours.
Batteries can be leased
If the word “battery” made you cringe and picture what would happen if the battery died while you were driving your Smart, don’t worry. Smart Electric has decided to lease batteries in the USA just like they do in Europe. 97% of European drivers have chosen to lease the battery, so it makes sense to offer this option here, too. The battery rental price has not yet been set, but in Europe, the monthly rental cost is about 65 Euros ($83). Terms and mileage affect the monthly cost, however. If you buy the car with the rental scheme, you also get a discount on it. This brings the Smart from a $30,000 car to a $24,000 car in Europe, and since it’s starting at about $26,000 in the USA already, it could become very cheap!
Test drives are positive
Already, car sites and experts have taken the Electric Smart for a spin and have found positive results. It’s reported to have great acceleration and a quiet motor, though the top speed is lower than the gas version. There is a single-speed transmission that means you won’t have to surge with each gear, and test drives are scheduled throughout major U.S. cities to show consumers what they might be missing out on. Just like any other car on the road, you will need to have completed your theory test and hold a valid driving permit before taking an electric car for a test drive.
Smart Electric cars are a good choice for American highways – they can run in stop-and-go traffic or on open roads, they reach full charge overnight, and they are priced at an affordable rate for those looking to lease batteries or buy it outright. You don’t have to worry about the battery dying, since Smart will replace it if the capacity drops below 80%, and you can enjoy the benefits of being gas-free.
Gillian Kearney has extensive experience in the auto industry. She enjoys keeping up with the latest developments in the industry and sharing her research through blogging.