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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yesterday I test drove the electric smart ED at my dealer.

I had been eagerly awaiting the opportunity, as I am the perfect candidate for an electric car. My ’09 Passion coupe is my primary car, but I never drive more than 50-60 miles per day. I’m also one of those “early adopter” types, having owned both first generation hybrids: the Honda Insight and Toyota Prius.

So what how does the ED compare to the gas smart? On the plus side, it rides better. I guess that is a result of the extra weight. Another plus is the one-speed transmission that eliminates the jerkiness inherent in the smart’s horrible semi-automatic transmission. And the electric is very quiet.

The dealer had it plugged into a regular wall 110 volt wall outlet in the showroom. No special charger needed, although a 220 will charge it faster.

There is one big negative, however. The ED is slow. Really slow. Acceleration is much worse than the gas model. This surprised me, as my Prius accelerated briskly in electric mode before the gas engine kicked in. (And yes, before anyone asks, the ED was 100% charged when I drove it.)

On I-95, which I drive every day in my Passion, the ED topped out at about 62 mph. The dealer says the top speed is 65, but either number is scary during rush hour when everyone else is doing at least 70. Big design mistake, in my opinion.

I’m still on the wait list to buy one. I hope they up the top speed before retail sales begin, but if not I’ll just stay off I-95. My final decision will be based on price, not performance. The dealer says the retail will be around $32,000, but I would never purchase one at that price. I will pay a premium -- early adopter that I am – but not more than 20-25% over the gas model.

Right now they only have this crazy lease deal ($2,500 down, $599 per month for 4 years, limit 10,000 miles per year). I think they need a reality check.
 

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You have to remember

The first 250 coming to the states in the upcoming months is a Test fleet. Not a final version. Most will go to cooperation's who can write off the lease cost and live without them from time to time as they are being tested. A few folks with deep pockets and an over whelming urge to safe the planet will also join in. But average Joe is not expected to be in the first 250 of borrowers (not owners since its only a lease)

I'm sure plenty will change in the full release in 2012, Expect cost to go down, Range to go up as well as Speed.
 

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The secret "boost" button on the ED

Did anyone tell you about the secret "boost" button on the ED accelerator (please don't call it a "gas" pedal)?

When you press down on the accelerator pedal, you get to what seems to be the end, you push just a bit more and get a "boost". Primarily used for highway ramps and merging into traffic.

I thought the same thing about slow acceleration until I was told about the "boost" button.

The top speed (and range) will both be increased on the full production run (after the first 250 test fleet). Look forward to 100 mile range and 80+ top speed.

I am on the list to get one ASAP.
 

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Everything I've read (and heard from Dave Schembri) is the ED will out accelerate the gas version from a standing start.
 

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Everything I've read (and heard from Dave Schembri) is the ED will out accelerate the gas version from a standing start.
That's Obviously Old Info.

I Hope it comes true in the future, but if they do that it will cut the range. And right now they are trying to remove the range anxiety more than the on ramp anxiety
 

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Not so sure; the ED develops 100% torque instantly and the test cars at the dealers are the same Euro ones Schembri had access to as far as I know. We need somebody to do a side-by-side test at a dealership... :)
 

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Right now they only have this crazy lease deal ($2,500 down, $599 per month for 4 years, limit 10,000 miles per year). I think they need a reality check.
AMEN to that :eek:

$31,252 + tax and you DON'T own it :wow:

I'll wait until the price is more competitive and you can OWN it :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
ED acceration isn't close to the gas version

Everything I've read (and heard from Dave Schembri) is the ED will out accelerate the gas version from a standing start.
No way, based on my experience.

I have 11,400 miles on my '09. I always shift manually, and I drive as aggressivley as reasonable with a 999 cc engine. I have no problem keeping up with traffic or merging onto the freeway. I don't want to drag race anyone; I've got a motorcycle for that.

I drove the ED for about 45 minutes on roads that I drive often. So I consider my test drive a good comparison of gas vs. electric smarts. The ED accelerates so much slower that I was impeding traffic pulling away from red lights on city surface streets. Even with the pedal on the floor.

As for freeway merging, plan ahead. You'll be flat out at 62 mph trying to merge into 70 mph traffic.

If there is a secret boost button, the dealer doesn't know about it either. However, they invited me to drive the ED again on Thursday. I'll let you know if I can activate the boost.

I know that an electric motor produces maximum torque as soon as it starts turning. That certainly seemed true of my Prius. It is also why I am so disappointed in the (lack of) acceleration of the smart ED.

I do agree that electric vehicle technology is improving rapidly. I share the hope that the retail ED will be better than the one I drove. I still want one.
 

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If you dont mind my asking, I know ive seen INdy was getting the EDs to test, and obviously parts of Florida. Anyone have a list of dealerships that should or will be getting the ED to test out? Thanks.
 

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Apparently the battery pack alone in the current ED costs $16,000 Euros. That's what Auto- Motor Und Sport said.
 

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OK color me confused then....
From what im reading straight from the Smart USA site, "offical" smart site is this:
Indianapolis - The next generation of vehicles will be unveiled Thursday in central Indiana.
The Smart for-Two car in Indianapolis is for those who never want to visit a gas station again. To fill this car's "tank" you just plug it in to an electric outlet.
The 100 percent electric car can go about 100 miles on $2 worth of electricity. That's compared to the average gas-powered car which needs about $12 in fuel to go the same distance.
This fall, 250 of these cars will be available for lease in Indianapolis with a full rollout planned for 2012.
The manufacturer says, part of the reason they decided to launch the Smart for-Two car in Indy is because of the way the city is set up with I-465 circling the city and most suburbs within 20 miles in either direction.
They say 70 to 80 percent of Indy commuters are in their vehicles by themselves and traveling 30 to 40 miles a day which is perfect for an electric car commute.
"I think that this will sell like none other. When we first opened 3 years ago, one of the first questions people asked me, 'Where is the electric car?' That was already the buzz out in the street and so we were all looking at each other going, ok now what do we do with all the gas powered cars?" said Linda Pettenaro, Owner, Smart Center Indianapolis.
Smart Car says another reason it chose Indy as one of only five key markets to launch its new electric car is because of all the homework the city has done to make it a viable option for transportation.
The city of Indianapolis along with utility companies and private corporations have been working on what they're calling "Project Plug-in."
The idea is to build charging stations for electric cars in shopping centers and parking garages all over the city, including the airport.
200 of these charging infrastructure sites are slated to be ready as early as this fall.
"Organizations like project plug-in are making a huge difference around the country so we want to go to places that are ready for electric cars. We have a chicken and the egg situation. We can show up with cars, but if you can't plug them in we're no good. If you build the stations and we don't show up with the cars we're no good. So we have to work this together," said Derek Kaufman, VP of Development, Smart USA.
Project Plug-in has also put Indianapolis in a favorable position to be a part of a national electric vehicle deployment program. The measure still being considered in Congress would give hundreds of millions of dollars in federal grants and loan guarantees to 15 U.S. cities to energize the rollout of electric cars and trucks.
Smart Car will begin leasing their new electric car in Indianapolis in October. The 4 year lease costs about $31,000.
Friday, the public is invited to stop by this Smart Car Dealership to see it for themselves.


This is from Aug4th.
To me this says, the 250 being released in the fall for lease are ALL coming from Indy, and are all available at Indy, nowhere else.
I cant find anything on any site showing confirmation that these babies are anywhere but Indy.
Wouldnt Smart advertise if you could check out your local dealership to lease these? Or to even test drive these?
I know they are talking more Indy because the city is VERY receptive to Electric cars, going as far as suggesting outlets at local Malls for these kind of cars to recharge.
 

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No way, based on my experience.

I have 11,400 miles on my '09. I always shift manually, and I drive as aggressivley as reasonable with a 999 cc engine. I have no problem keeping up with traffic or merging onto the freeway. I don't want to drag race anyone; I've got a motorcycle for that.

I drove the ED for about 45 minutes on roads that I drive often. So I consider my test drive a good comparison of gas vs. electric smarts. The ED accelerates so much slower that I was impeding traffic pulling away from red lights on city surface streets. Even with the pedal on the floor.

As for freeway merging, plan ahead. You'll be flat out at 62 mph trying to merge into 70 mph traffic.

If there is a secret boost button, the dealer doesn't know about it either. However, they invited me to drive the ED again on Thursday. I'll let you know if I can activate the boost.

I know that an electric motor produces maximum torque as soon as it starts turning. That certainly seemed true of my Prius. It is also why I am so disappointed in the (lack of) acceleration of the smart ED.

I do agree that electric vehicle technology is improving rapidly. I share the hope that the retail ED will be better than the one I drove. I still want one.
Here's another data point:

Smart claims a 0-to-37-mph (60 km/h) time of 6.5 seconds, the same as for the gas version.
2011 Smart Fortwo Electric Drive - First Drive Review - Auto Reviews - Car and Driver

So, not faster but at least equal acceleration off the line according to C & D. :)
 

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OK color me confused then....
From what im reading straight from the Smart USA site, "offical" smart site is this:
Indianapolis - The next generation of vehicles will be unveiled Thursday in central Indiana.
The Smart for-Two car in Indianapolis is for those who never want to visit a gas station again. To fill this car's "tank" you just plug it in to an electric outlet.
The 100 percent electric car can go about 100 miles on $2 worth of electricity. That's compared to the average gas-powered car which needs about $12 in fuel to go the same distance.
This fall, 250 of these cars will be available for lease in Indianapolis with a full rollout planned for 2012.
The manufacturer says, part of the reason they decided to launch the Smart for-Two car in Indy is because of the way the city is set up with I-465 circling the city and most suburbs within 20 miles in either direction.
They say 70 to 80 percent of Indy commuters are in their vehicles by themselves and traveling 30 to 40 miles a day which is perfect for an electric car commute.
"I think that this will sell like none other. When we first opened 3 years ago, one of the first questions people asked me, 'Where is the electric car?' That was already the buzz out in the street and so we were all looking at each other going, ok now what do we do with all the gas powered cars?" said Linda Pettenaro, Owner, Smart Center Indianapolis.
Smart Car says another reason it chose Indy as one of only five key markets to launch its new electric car is because of all the homework the city has done to make it a viable option for transportation.
The city of Indianapolis along with utility companies and private corporations have been working on what they're calling "Project Plug-in."
The idea is to build charging stations for electric cars in shopping centers and parking garages all over the city, including the airport.
200 of these charging infrastructure sites are slated to be ready as early as this fall.
"Organizations like project plug-in are making a huge difference around the country so we want to go to places that are ready for electric cars. We have a chicken and the egg situation. We can show up with cars, but if you can't plug them in we're no good. If you build the stations and we don't show up with the cars we're no good. So we have to work this together," said Derek Kaufman, VP of Development, Smart USA.
Project Plug-in has also put Indianapolis in a favorable position to be a part of a national electric vehicle deployment program. The measure still being considered in Congress would give hundreds of millions of dollars in federal grants and loan guarantees to 15 U.S. cities to energize the rollout of electric cars and trucks.
Smart Car will begin leasing their new electric car in Indianapolis in October. The 4 year lease costs about $31,000.
Friday, the public is invited to stop by this Smart Car Dealership to see it for themselves.


This is from Aug4th.
To me this says, the 250 being released in the fall for lease are ALL coming from Indy, and are all available at Indy, nowhere else.
I cant find anything on any site showing confirmation that these babies are anywhere but Indy.
Wouldnt Smart advertise if you could check out your local dealership to lease these? Or to even test drive these?
I know they are talking more Indy because the city is VERY receptive to Electric cars, going as far as suggesting outlets at local Malls for these kind of cars to recharge.
There's definitely a story in the numbers. Even of those 250 cars sent to the U.S., smart USA has decided to place 80 percent of these vehicles with corporate partners and about 20 percent with individual lessees.

Only offered in a few regions

The numbers get even more hopeless when you consider that Smart is targeting several regions/locations for deployment: Portland, San Jose, and Orlando are all part of the initial plan, as well as Indianapolis, where a test program between IPL and Duke Energy will focus around the city's outer ring road and commuters who have a 20-40 mile round-trip commute. Also on the hot list: the I-95 corridor.

Additionally, a handful of vehicles will go to Daimler's Car2Go car-sharing operation based in Austin. And from all the vehicles, unless the owners opt out, charging and range data will be shared with Daimler.
2011 Smart Electric Drive: Mercedes Price, Maybach Exclusivity? - Green Car Reports
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The one I drove is at smart Center West Palm Beach

West Palm Beach, Florida, is not on the previously published list of dealers getting the demos. Nevertheless, they got one last Saturday and they can take firm orders (i.e. with substantial deposits).

If you live down here, contact their sales manager Dawn. She's very helpful:

Dawn E. Failla
Sales Manager
smart center Palm Beach
4002 Okeechobee Blvd.
West Palm Beach, Fl. 33409
P: 561-471-7664 ext. 221
[email protected]
 
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