2013 Smart Electric Drive Coupe Lease Price Lowered To $139

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2013 Smart Electric Drive Coupe, Ann Arbor, Michigan, Aug 2013

2013 Smart Electric Drive Coupe, Ann Arbor, Michigan, Aug 2013

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The prices just keep falling on plug-in electric cars.

The latest to announce a new, lower lease price is Smart, which cut the monthly cost of a three-year lease on its 2013 ForTwo Electric Drive Coupe from $199 to just $139.

That's not the lowest single electric-car lease we're aware of in the U.S.--the Mitsubishi i-MiEV was offered by one Illinois dealer for just $69 a month last January--but it's remarkably cheap.

There are a few caveats. First, you have to put down $1,999 up front, which is roughly commensurate with other low-cost electric-car leases.

Second, this rate only applies to the Coupe version of the Smart electric car, not the Convertible (which is now $199 a month, down from $239).

Most important, the customer has to agree to take part in the Battery Assurance Plus program.

Under that scheme, the customer leases the car and the battery separately. Smart performs regular maintenance on the battery, warrants it for 10 years, replaces it if required, and eliminates any annual mileage limits on the car.

Smart also offers the Battery Assurance Plus program for Smart Electric Drive cars that are purchased, and cuts the car's price to $19,990.

In that case, the buyer owns a "glider" but leases the battery that makes it run for $80 a month.

Under the new lower lease price, the car is leased for just $59 a month, plus $80 more for the battery lease.

That lower price only applies to when the customer leases the battery separately. If a customer chooses not to participate in the Battery Assurance Program, but to lease the entire vehicle as a single entity (Smart says only a handful have), the price remains at $199 a month.

Smart's announcement was released the same day Chevrolet announced a whopping $5,000 reduction in the sticker price of its 2014 Volt range-extended electric car.


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Comments (18)
  1. How is that thing in the snow? The price is certainly right.

  2. Golf cart.

  3. @Douglas: Is that rather contemptuous assessment based on having driven a Smart Electric Drive, I presume? Or just a potshot?

  4. @John - With all due respect, the size of this car is extremely small, so it's probably what Douglas was referring to...

    There are places where golf carts are very desirable and it's the only mode of transportation you'd need and the same would apply to this car - it's a very niche offering due to its size. I wouldn't mind adding this to my fleet but having room for more than one passenger would certainly be nice.

  5. @Jan,

    So why not take the time to say that? It's a very common method of manipulation recently for certain bumper sticker statements to replace thoughtful conversation.

    On another note, I have no need of additional seats. Two seats are fine for my wife and I and I am continually perturbed with the lack of options for two seaters. Big fat tanks are wastes of money and for me indicate a certain level of sheepishness on the part of the owner or driver that has no actual purpose for all that wasted space.

  6. @John: If city driving is the only option (and that would be limited to speeds less than 45 mph), this mini car might be acceptable. But my comment regarding a golf cart stands. I have seen quite of few of these mini-cars,and I cannot imagine why any sane person would take this on a highway whilst competing for space against 18-wheelers and SUVs.

    As has been stated, there are quite a few uses for golf carts, so no contempt was intended. But the price versus the size is simply not competitive with other EVs. I wouldn't want my daughter driving one of these because no matter how good of a driver, getting squished by a larger car is a very real possibility.

    Long enough explanation?

  7. Douglas,
    You concerns are unwarranted and without facts. Check out Jim's good comment below and the actual crash test scores of this vehicle on IIHS(NHTSA hasn't performed crash tests on it probably due to low production numbers). The Smart fortwo scores as well as possible on all tests so far except for rear crash protection...and that was an "acceptable."

    The irony is that any smart car(a micro car not a mini car btw) can hold two big people rather easily n some luggage in the back too. Know that every car out there is intended or has to be the primary car for most households. This ev would be an excellent secondary vehicle for most households as well as a primary vehicle for a large minority. Pull your head out of the 20th century!

  8. Like hell that car can. My uncle has a Smart, it is the most idiotic car on the planet. They put a 3 cylinder gas engine that takes high octane and gets less milage than a Versa, which is a full sized car, takes low octane, and starts at a cheaper price. The Smart is very slow and has a crappy transmission, it is somehow an automatic manual so you are jerked around 10 times just to hit 50 miles per hour. The car is expensive to maintain, tires are very expensive, it is uncomfortable, and not designed smart (ironically). The fabric in my uncles can not be cleaned, he found out the hard way and damaged it.

    We will see if the electric version is nearly as bad, I doubt it, but the gas version sucks. Sorry, but there is no argument for that.

  9. Except that having driven many of these egg cartons on wheels while living in Europe and seen many more of them after tangles with trucks on the Italian Autostrata, I can tell you that the IIHS test scores do not paint an accurate picture of survivablity in the ForTwo's case. That acceptable rating for the rear crash is much more generous than it is realistic. There is simply not enough car to be safe on anything more than city streets and residential neighborhoods. Furthermore, the fortwo is too small for even one person to use for something as basic as grocery shopping. No space behind the seat, only space is on your lap and the passenger seat. Why buy this outdated micro when you can get a roomier Spark or Leaf with some pep? Right Doug?

  10. Well, seeing that the high ways are all split lanes and the only time you are really going to get in an accident is if a deer runs in front of you or some other idiot on the road, you really do not have much to worry about, as long as you are a defensive driver. The size of the car does not equal safety either, you can not simply assume it would be unsafe.

  11. @Randy- If you want to deny basic physics, do so at your peril. It doesn't really take a lot of knowledge or education to understand that a lightweight vehicle will suffer when compared to a normal vehicle.

    You can have the safest motorcycle in the world and still get crushed by a truck. A Smart is not a Formula race car. It is made to pass certain safety tests. It is not indestructible, especially when it crashes into a any other vehicle.

  12. Okay. Want to see what happens when a Smart hits merely a C class Mercedes? It ain't pretty, I'll tell you now:

  13. In case you don't want to observe the true physics, I think it would be fair to say that the Smart was destroyed while the C class didn't even crack its windshield.

  14. My Sister has a 2009 Smart Passion, typical American spec coupe and it's not too bad a car to drive. The minor detractor is getting used to the manu-matic, sorta' automatic transmission. The EV Smart doesn't have that issue, and from what I read it's got more get up and go. It's sure to be a fun car to drive if you can get used to a small car. Plenty of room inside for 2 people and it's a real attention getter.

    Certainly not a Golf Cart.

  15. The price war continues...

    How long would Toyota, Honda and Ford wait before they drop the price on PIP, Accord Plugin and Energi models..

    I guess we will see who is really serious on plugins....

  16. For cities such as SF, this thing should do very well.

  17. my friend has the electric Smart-ED ,Electric Drive and loves it. Easy to park and 100 mile range. It's perfect for many cities and the most miles per kWh!

    Note even a big Escalade is not safe against an 18 wheeler. Smaller can be much safer, check all the SUV owners that back over their pets, children etc. Check all the SUV owners that flip because they are so top heavy. Check the real facts.

  18. But both the IIHS and the NHTSA have repeatedly stated all other factors being equal (airbags, crumple zones, seatbelt use, etc.) the bigger car is more survivable. True SUVs can roll easily, but because the Smart is both high and short, I have seen them roll end over end as well as side to side in accidents. Again, unless you live in a city with big parking problems, buying one of these cars is about image and drawing attention, not practicality. For small EVs, the practical choice would be a Spark or and Leaf that would allow you to actually stop by the store on the way home from work. On the lighter side, remember the Gene Simmons reality show when the kids tried to carry the cake home in a Fortwo? Fortwo + 2 + cake = comedic tragedy.

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