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Soon, Daimler dealerships will only be able to sell all-electric versions of the Smart car range as the company plans to stop selling gas powered vehicles in the U.S. and Canada this year.

Compounded by low gas prices and the market’s shift towards SUVs and crossovers, this decision was made in light of the Smart ForTwo’s falling sales numbers in the US and Canada. While sales have been fairly strong with around 145,000 global deliveries last year, only 6,211 of those sales were made in the US.

In a letter obtained by Automotive News, Dietmar Exler, CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA, told dealers that “with the launch of the fourth-generation Smart ForTwo electric drive this summer, the Smart lineup will consist exclusively of the zero-emissions Smart electric-drive coupe and cabrio in the U.S. and Canada.”

Gas powered Smart ForTwo coupe and convertibles will still be produced for North America until April this year and dealerships will sell what’s left of their stock. Replacing them are the all-electric ForTwo, ForTwo cabrio and ForFour.

Introduced last year at the Paris Motor Show, the new battery variants will have a 17.6 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery powering its three-phase synchronous motor. The motor is capable of cranking out 80 horsepower and 118 pound-feet of torque with a claimed top speed of 80 mph. Depending on the model, the Smart car could have a range of around 100 miles.

Perhaps this product shift could prove fruitful for Daimler as 25% of their 2014 sales consisted of electric vehicles.
 

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Makes perfect sense. For most Americans the Smart is a pretty dumb choice. It only has one redeeming feature and that is, it can be parked in very small places. That makes it ideal for some urban dwellers and in these cases, they don't often travel very far. This a great vehicle type for electric drive.

This of course does raise the challenge of where to charge. These urban dwellers like the Smart because it is easier to park on the street, often the only parking available to them. Hopefully Daimler sees the problem here and makes DCFC standard, as well as at the fastest possible rate. In addition, they had better consider some DCFC stations if there aren't many around.
 

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I can't remember the last time I seen one of these things. But this is definitely ideal for the city carvers. If your primarily in the city and spend most of your time there, people will love this thing. This is something I can see being used in ride sharing programs and what not.
 

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My friend has one of these and I'll never understand the appeal. There's so little material between you and whatever else in the world in case of a crash. Wouldn't go for one even if it's all electric.

DaV8or does bring up a good point, the demographic they're aiming at has no way of charging their car on a regular basis depending on where they park. It works if you have indoor parking, but you'd be out of luck on the street if someone is already there charging for the night.
 

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I have seen several Smarts here (gas engine version) and they are too small. The Bolt EV is larger but priced similar, so for the price of a Smart EV you get a better GM EV!!

BTW, Daimler also sells electric Mercedes-Benz models, whci cost as much as a Model S!
 

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My friend has one of these and I'll never understand the appeal. There's so little material between you and whatever else in the world in case of a crash. Wouldn't go for one even if it's all electric. .
I had a Smart for 4 years and my wife and I liked it a lot. The safety cell construction gave us a reasonable amount of confidence for our safety especially compared to other subcompact cars. Other than the Toyota iQ it was the most maneuverable car I have ever driven and I used to joke that it was so small I could always get out of the way of an accident. What we didn't like was the skinny front tires and it most definitely was not a highway car. Your arms got tired holding it steady in a cross wind. We would consider the Smart EV cabriolet if we hadn't moved out of the city to a rural area where we need the range of the Bolt to be able to go BEV. One of the other appeals which we will not get in the Bolt is the Smart car was a conversation starter wherever we went. Of course there were a ton of jokes but they were mostly good-natured.
 

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My friend has one of these and I'll never understand the appeal. There's so little material between you and whatever else in the world in case of a crash. Wouldn't go for one even if it's all electric.

DaV8or does bring up a good point, the demographic they're aiming at has no way of charging their car on a regular basis depending on where they park. It works if you have indoor parking, but you'd be out of luck on the street if someone is already there charging for the night.
They claim to have a very good safety record. I've never researched it. One thing to remember with regards to crashes and small, light cars- because they are light, they get pushed aside, or back, or whatever instead of standing their ground and taking the punishment. The Smart people tell you all about their safety cage all around you with lots of airbags. So instead of depending on crush and crumple zones to absorb the impact, the Smart and it's occupants just get up to speed and go along for the ride.

It will be interesting to see how the Bolt holds up to crash testing. It's still a big unknown. It too is relatively small, but unlike the Smart, it has a fair amount of weight, so it's not as likely to be pushed aside. It's likely highly dependent on airbags and it seems GM knows this.
 

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I can't remember the last time I seen one of these things. But this is definitely ideal for the city carvers. If your primarily in the city and spend most of your time there, people will love this thing. This is something I can see being used in ride sharing programs and what not.
Yep, dense urban cities or small, compact island communities like Avalon on Catalina Island is where small is king. When I lived in San Francisco decades ago, I drove a Honda N600. No, not a motorcycle, one of these-



It was fantastic! I loved that car. Actually a little smaller than a Smart. A go-cart in the street and I could always find parking because there was always a spot nobody else could take. Of course it got good gas milage too. I kinda miss it. However, unlike the Smart, this was death trap, but I was in my '20s and indestructible back then.
 

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Hence why I want Honda to bring the S660 to America. Even better if they can fit it with a hybrid powertrain which would meet the need of a lot of potential owners - that's what my crystal ball for the market is saying :D

 

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Yep, dense urban cities or small, compact island communities like Avalon on Catalina Island is where small is king. When I lived in San Francisco decades ago, I drove a Honda N600. No, not a motorcycle, one of these-

It was fantastic! I loved that car. Actually a little smaller than a Smart. A go-cart in the street and I could always find parking because there was always a spot nobody else could take. Of course it got good gas milage too. I kinda miss it. However, unlike the Smart, this was death trap, but I was in my '20s and indestructible back then.
That is legendary! To be honest.. I would still love to own one of those, I think they're incredibly interesting vehicles. But the 20s were definitely the good days. Sleep was unknown and unnecessary, all of the joints worked, nothing could stop you!

Hence why I want Honda to bring the S660 to America. Even better if they can fit it with a hybrid powertrain which would meet the need of a lot of potential owners - that's what my crystal ball for the market is saying :D
Even if they could manage a full EV S660, I would be in love with it! Small, really stylish, eye-catching, two-seater. It'll be like the Tesla roadster that's affordable haha
 

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This news is more a reflection of how poor Smart car sales are rather than how strong Smart EV car sales are.

I've seen a lot of Smart cars around here in Vancouver BC and have even driven them from time to time because they're used by the Car2Go car sharing company. They're actually surprisingly roomy inside - they feel as spacious as a normal small car until you turn around and look over your shoulder. It seems like they should make a lot of sense for city driving, but the reality is that they get worse gas mileage than my Prius C does and they can't carry the extra people and cargo that it can, so from where I'm standing there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of sense in them.

The Smart electric does solve the issues of the automatically-shifted-manual transmission of the gas version, and it's light weight helps it to get the maximum range out of its small battery. But when I test drove one I was left unimpressed. It just didn't seem to me like I was getting very much for my money (and that was a used model).

Car2Go used to have some electric drive models, but they got rid of all of them a few years ago. I wonder if they're going to continue to import some gas variants just for them?
 
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