The electric revolution is underway. With testbed vehicles including the Mini E, and big-name models like the Ford Focus EV and Nissan LEAF on the way within a year or two, it's no longer a question of whether electric cars will come back.

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.

Want more detail? You'll definitely want to check out full driving impressions over at our companion site The Car Connection.