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I'm about a month or two out from buying a larger EV for the family. Until then, I stumbled into a 13 SMART EV with 27,000 on the dial. I drove it yesterday. Not really knowing what I was driving, but it ran around the neighborhood pretty good.

The dial in the dash on the left showed almost 0. I would assume that was the main battery. The AC was weak but it might just need service.

So what am I getting into? I can buy it for cash probably in the $4k or so area. What is the deal with the battery. LEASED? Am I buying a money pit? Its stickly around town car.

Any advice?
 

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I was a Smart Brand Manager for six years at a West Coast MB Dealership...



You will not have warranty coverage for the battery once it passes the factory warranty & that's over. The $80 a month battery insurance does not apply after the leased EV is returned...


I wouldn't buy it. But, other folks will be chiming in soon...
 

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For $4K, how bad can you get hurt? If the battery charges , the range guess-meter says a range that's 150% of what you'd be happy with for your use case, and you think the car drives well, what do you have to lose?

The batteries seems to last very well on average. There is a specific failure mode on the batteries for cars that sit for some period of time discharged. But that's not a hidden risk if the car now charges and drives well. We do sell a battery test unit that can get detailed diagnostics on the capacity of the battery, but I'll give you the short summary which is "these batteries age quite well over the years for cars that are driven regularly" and for a low price like this, I think you're probably in a spot where your downside is limited by the low purchase price.

As always, a used car is a used car, but I wouldn't be any more afraid of this one than any other 2013 used car, in fact probably somewhat less.

No one knows if we're going to be able to keep these cars operational for 20 years. It's overwhelmingly likely that they'll be useful cars for another 5+ years, which at $4K...
 

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The dash gauge on the left is the per cent of charge remaining. If it is near zero, I'd definitely ask them to give it a full charge to 100% and see what the instrument cluster info says your expected range is. The second gauge on the dash is the amount of battery you are using, so when you are sitting still, it will read zero. Under acceleration it will read up to maybe 50%. When decelerating or braking, it will read less than zero meaning you are regenerating a little juice.

The car is simple and generally cheap to maintain. Make sure the charging cable and two sets of keys come with it.

Seeing a Carfax might be helpful - maybe not.

Len
2014 EV Coupe 18,000 miles
2014 EV Cabriolet 12,500 miles
 

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For $4K, how bad can you get hurt?
Some of us working schmucks down here in the rust belt cannot afford to blow $4k on something that might become a brick on wheels that we have to spend more money to dispose. That money could go to home improvements that would give me a chance of not having to sell my house at a loss.

My wife read me the riot act when I splurged $200 on a vintage HP-15C in like-new shape!

Nathansstory - did you see any low battery warnings on the dash panel? Normally you will see these once it is below 20 percent SOC. Ask the dealer to charge the car right away.
 

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Bought mine 2 yrs ago, warranty got.new hv batt.
Have it tested at dealer before purchase.

Or get a good obd2 reader to see fully charged volts etc

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Some of us working schmucks down here in the rust belt cannot afford to blow $4k on something that might become a brick on wheels that we have to spend more money to dispose.
I'm not trying to be cavalier about $4K, but a running, driving, 6-year old car that shows no current signs of faults... How much less could it realistically be worth, given what we know about the overall good service experience of these cars?

Make no mistake, the current crop of electrics are all going to become bricks someday in a way that the '66 Mustang convertible outside my window probably never will. At some point, we're not going to be able to economically service the battery packs and subsequent generations of electrics will be so much better than no one is going to make aftermarket batteries from new. So, we'll scrounge around the used packs for a few years and, after that, the cars will all be beyond economic repair as drivers.

Based on how little degradation we see in the Smarts, I think that period is 20+ years away for the 451s. Even if it's "only" 11 years away, that $4000 used Smart cost a buyer $1/day in purchase price terms. That's all I mean by "how badly can you get hurt?"

Check it out, make sure there are no current faults and the battery capacity "seems right" and I think you're in for a good ride statistically.
 

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If you pay too much for car and it does not get used enough to save very much money, not worth it.
I got lucky i had a few good things
4k car
Still under warranty
New batt from dealer at 31k miles
Now at 55k miles 100% batt health.



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