The problem targeting city dwellers is that most of them do not have a means of charging an EV. My son is looking to move out on his own and is interested in an EV as a replacement vehicle, but in our area of the nation, he can't find any apartment under $2k a month (that's for a one bedroom) that has a garage with a level 2 charger, much less even a guarantee of a regular 120 volt outlet nearby. For any place with only outdoor parking, charging is just simply not possible or extremely inconvenient. This is a problem facing any city dweller contemplating an EV. So then, you're looking to target those who live a bit further out. Which means even if work is within the range of the car, there's no ability to make any kind of substantial side trip. And that's the reality. High housing prices have forced many workers far away. In our department of 13 IT staff, seven have a commute of more than 30 miles one way. And we're not a relatively large metro area.Let's keep calm here. Most smart 453 EV's brought to the U.S. will be leased to folks who drive to work within the 58 mile range. There are some folks out there who drive 10 miles to work, 10 miles home. 15 one way, 15 return. 6 one way, 6 back. 20 one way, 20 back.
The current lease is only $139 per month, with a relatively low down payment. Roughly $150 with tax, per month. Some cities that's a monthly bus pass.
It's still a usable vehicle. It does alienate the longer distance commuters though. MB has future EV's planned with significantly longer range.
The car is much nicer than the prior 451, and in some cases is tighter and more solid in its feel and handling ability than longer range EV's from competitors.
The smart 453 EV is designed for city dwellers who plan to use their other car for long distance trips. Judging the vehicle on its own merit --- it's a totally awesome car. The steering and handling feel is substantially improved over smart 451's, the power steering is assisted aggressively at a standstill so one-handed u-turns are easy unlike the 451's. The car still has the absolute tightest turning circle on the market too, so city dwellers navigating tight street traffic will enjoy this car immensely in my opinion.
And if you only have a five mile commute, and the cost savings is 30 cents a mile over an ICE car that they already have, that's a savings of $3 a day, $60 a month. An EV only pays off if you are driving it some significant distance, but then you can't comfortably do that if the range is that small.