Advertisement

2013 Smart Electric Drive: Drive Video From NY Auto Show

Follow John

We didn't expect the fluorescent green, that's for sure.

But it probably helped us on our half-hour drive around crowded midtown Manhattan in the new 2013 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive, the latest all-electric version of the little two-seat Smart car.

With the lithium-ion battery pack in the sandwich floor and the electric traction motor replacing the gasoline engine under the rear deck, the electric Smart has just as much room in it as a regular one.

Which is to say, two adult men fit fine--although if one of them is not only 6'5" but also carrying a video camera, some of the angles get a little funky.

The electric Smart has none of the jerking and bucking that the gasoline version, with its automatic manual transmission does. In fact, it has no transmission at all.

That makes it quiet, smooth, and considerably more comfortable around town than the gasoline Smart.

In fact, in some ways--as we say on the video--we think it's the car the Smart really should have been all along.

The range, for those who are wondering, is rated by the EPA at 68 miles--more than the Mitsubishi i-MiEV's 62 miles, but less than the 2013 Nissan Leaf at 75 mph.

Our video couldn't really show you the acceleration out the window, but you will hear the lack of noise and fuss even under full throttle.

You'll also hear some honking from the car next to us (at about 1:28), which is Subaru's communications staff rolling down their windows to point at us in our little lime-green Smart.

Because we started right outside the New York Auto Show, they were hardly the only ones.

We liked the 2013 Smart Electric Drive, and when it goes on sale next month, it will be the least expensive plug-in electric car sold in the U.S.

Prices begin at $25,750 for the hardtop and $28,750 for the Cabriolet, which has a folding cloth roof. Both prices are before any incentives, and include the mandatory delivery fee.

For more details on the electric 2013 Smart, see our first drive report from last November.

And as always, leave us your thoughts on the video in the Comments below.

+++++++++++

Follow GreenCarReports on Facebook and Twitter.

Advertisement
 
Follow Us

 

Have an opinion?

  • Posting indicates you have read this site's Privacy Policy and Terms of Use
  • Notify me when there are more comments
Comments (9)
  1. Great report. Any range or MPGe data?
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

     
  2. @John: Aha, good reminder. I'll add it to the article, but the EPA-rated range is 68 miles and the combined efficiency rating is 107 MPGe.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  3. Thx for the report & video. Would appreciate a longer piece on the pros & cons of these affordable EVs: smart ED3, Leaf, and Miev.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  4. Guess 3rd time's the charm for SmartED3, poised now to take over the cheap minimalist EV niche from the fading i-MiEV (I'm rooting for it, since it looks like Mitsu's giving up after being undercut by Nissan's bargain Leaf S, though I hope not). Properly cooled battery makes it a worthy replacement for i-MiEV fans put off by the Leaf's cavalier attitude toward battery cooking. Lack of trunk or back seat do greatly reduce utility; okay for commuting or light shopping, I guess. But as noted here, smooth EV drivetrain really pays off in a car that's pretty rough in ICEV configuration. I've been worried we might not continue to have affordable EV options, this really eases that concern.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  5. Well, we are in the market for 2nd car and would like to buy an EV we can afford. We have test driven the Miev and the Leaf, waiting to test drive a Smart ED3 before making our decision. We didn't like the Miev (dash sucks, seats spongy, and a 2nd wiper from hell). The Leaf is on top of our list right now, but it is more than what we need. I really like the size and looks of the ED3, not to mention its price! So unless it flunks our test drive, that's what we plan to get.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  6. John,

    I'm embarrassed I missed this video until now. Intriguing!!!!
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  7. Why is Smart writing their "introductory" advertising to read as though the electric model can be bought for the $12,490 figure? Check out their website. It's a little confusing when the real price is in mid 20's.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

     
  8. BTW, here's the "official: Smart site that shows "electric Smarts starting at #12,450." Reminds me of when Smart first came to the U.S. under the Penske sponsorship. Original advertising claimed they were to sell in the $12,000+ range, but turned out to be much higher. Also, they never would advertise mpg. Gives me a sense of insecurity about them, and their cars. As much as I'd like to have a second vehicle like this, I just don't know about Smart.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

     
  9. @Ben We agree, and very much dislike this annoying practice of "net pricing". We think it's deceptive, as explained here:

    http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1076417_electric-car-prices-tesla-nissan-chevy-should-be-ashamed--heres-why
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

 

Have an opinion? Join the conversation!

Advertisement

Find Green Cars

Go!
Advertisement

Advertisement

 
© 2014 Green Car Reports. All Rights Reserved. Green Car Reports is published by High Gear Media. Send us feedback. Stock photography by izmo, Inc.