More appropriately, we should be asking, how soon will EVs become a sizable portion of the market? Could electric drive actually make a better city car? Could it even make a city car that was originally designed with a gasoline engine better, more refined, more sensible?
To the last couple questions, yes and yes. After just driving the 2011 Smart Electric Drive, we've decided that it's a more refined, more likable vehicle in electric form. Yes, it only gets up to about 62 mph and its range is about 80 miles, but for a city vehicle those aren't severe handicaps. And in nearly every way, at urban-driving speeds, the Electric Drive feels both smoother and more responsive.