Electric car are getting a lot of attention in the media as of late and for good reason; the electric car represents the future of American motor—of a sorts anyway. Even with the introduction of other powertrain combinations as we reported on yesterday with the Volkswagen XL1 concept, the electric car is probably the most fascinating. Pair that fascination with a micro car, something that hasn’t been a huge success in the American market and what you have is a rare vehicle…250 rare vehicles to be exact. In case you aren’t on the same page, we are talking about the 2011 Smart ForTwo Electric. More than that we are talking about the first delivery to a consumer in the U.S.
Mindy Kimball, a Silver Spring, Maryland resident, is the lucky candidate that gets to be first. As our partners over at GreenCarReports.com said, “She’s an early adopter—and a major in the U.S. Army.” She also participates as a presenter in the Climate Project and the Electric Vehicle Association of Washington D.C. It is safe to say she is on-board with electric vehicle technology. But let’s get back to the ForTwo Electric. Smart is leasing the vehicles for $2,400 dollars down and $599 per month on a lease term. You can imagine that with that payment and the amount of money down that these electric Smarts aren’t cheap.
Price aside, the 2011 Smart ForTwo is targeted to achieve around 98 miles on a single charge. It also boasts a charging time from 20% to 80% of 3.5 hours on a 240-volt charger. Sounds pretty similar to the specs announced by Nissan and Ford—competitors in the electric car market. The biggest difference may be that the Smart isn’t really marketed at consumers—at least not at the moment. Of the 250 electrics being lease, only 50 of them are being ear-marked for consumers; the rest will go to commercial applications for fleet vehicle use. That may change as the next generation of Electric Drive models comes to market next year, but for now Smart is look more towards the business sector for their EV.
Consumer or Commercial, we agree with our counterparts over at GreenCarReports.com—the best part of this Smart EV may be the lack of semi-automatic transmission as found in the gasoline model. This is EV is what we would call a smooth ride.
[Source: GreenCarReports.com, SmartUSA]