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Discussion Starter #1
I ran the numbers and it looks to me like with the lease deal on a '14 smart electric drive if I take 10,000 miles a year that I would be putting on my truck and put them on the smart instead, I'll break even. (even with insurance, registration, etc.) I didn't take into account the reduction in wear and tear on my truck, and I did the calculations based on $3.60 a gallon (current price)

I like the idea of an EV and it's really just me and my lunchbox going to work every day. (8 miles one-way) I put exactly 12,000 a year on my truck - with 2000 of that being towing a trailer or long trips not suitable for an EV. But those other 10,000 miles - it's just me going to work, going fishing somewhere or running errands.

Am I missing something? Here's the details for any mathletes out there:

smart: $148/mo for 36. that includes ALL taxes, fees, title, etc.
8 cents kWh and no restrictions on hours of use. I have 110 and 220 in my garage.

truck: (2012 Frontier crew cab Pro4x 6 speed) 17mpg commuting. 20+ highway. $3.60 a gallon for gas. No car payment. I love my truck and have no plans to get rid of it. (unless they bring a manual transmission turbodiesel to the states)

The difference in insurance (adding smart car, making truck a "pleasure use" vehicle is $479/yr)

There are no state, local, or power company incentives for leasing an EV.

Comes out pretty close, doesn't it?
 

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Like its gas brethren, the smart EV comes out pretty low cost - especially on a lease.

There's annual maintenance which, due to higher Mercedes-Benz prices, is typically above most shops. But given that it's electric (and battery maintenance is free on a lease as Battery Assurance Plus is included), the cost will probably be relatively low still.

I don't think your math is off. I'd save money on a gas lease --> electric lease even while breaking the lease early and paying $40 more a month on the lease cost and including higher insurance costs.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Still trying to nail down the service costs, and I'm apprehensive about my distance from the dealership. The nearest dealer is 68 miles away. My in-laws are halfway in between so I could hopscotch my way there for the planned-in-advance annual service. What has me worried is if there is a problem requiring warranty work - would they send a tow truck? What if its drivable - like the AC goes out. Would they expect me to take a day off work and drive it there, stay there for a full recharge and drive it home? I can't get a straight answer in writing.

With my previous MB products I did my own maintenance. Oil change, brake fluid flush, lube the sunroof rails, etc. it's all spelled out in the book. I bought the fluids from the dealer and kept records.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well I think I got my answer. If the car isn't safe to drive they'll come get it through the roadside assistance program. But sounds like everything else it's up to me to get it there and back. Not that I disagree with their policy, but it isn't exactly a selling feature on a car that may very well not be physically able to make a 68 mile 70+ mph highway trip. (Or a 90 mile trip on two-lane roads at sane speeds to avoid I-695)
 

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You can make the 68 mile trip if you take side roads or just keep it at 60 mph but it will be close. Find a Kohls or Walgreens somewhere along the trip and get a free 1 hour charge from them while you grab a burger or something.

It sounds like the perfect commuter car for you, go for it.
 

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I ran the numbers and it looks to me like with the lease deal on a '14 smart electric drive if I take 10,000 miles a year that I would be putting on my truck and put them on the smart instead, I'll break even. (even with insurance, registration, etc.) I didn't take into account the reduction in wear and tear on my truck, and I did the calculations based on $3.60 a gallon (current price)

I like the idea of an EV and it's really just me and my lunchbox going to work every day. (8 miles one-way) I put exactly 12,000 a year on my truck - with 2000 of that being towing a trailer or long trips not suitable for an EV. But those other 10,000 miles - it's just me going to work, going fishing somewhere or running errands.

Am I missing something? Here's the details for any mathletes out there:

smart: $148/mo for 36. that includes ALL taxes, fees, title, etc.
8 cents kWh and no restrictions on hours of use. I have 110 and 220 in my garage.

truck: (2012 Frontier crew cab Pro4x 6 speed) 17mpg commuting. 20+ highway. $3.60 a gallon for gas. No car payment. I love my truck and have no plans to get rid of it. (unless they bring a manual transmission turbodiesel to the states)

The difference in insurance (adding smart car, making truck a "pleasure use" vehicle is $479/yr)

There are no state, local, or power company incentives for leasing an EV.

Comes out pretty close, doesn't it?
I wonder if someone like a good friend or a relative of yours could lease it for you here in California and have it shipped to your place and when the lease is over you can bring it back?:)
A good friend that drives a 18 wheeler could take it there with no problem.

This way you could even get all the incentives with no problem.
After all, friends are more valuable than money and gold.
 

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I would suggest getting more miles for the lease. This car is very addicting to drive. And with such a short commute i am sure you will want to drive it more. I didn't think i would be driving it so much. I drove my gas smart a lot and i didn't rack up as much miles as i did in this in this time period.


Im about 4,300 miles away from 10,000 and its only been over 6 months.


And the car pretty much has unlimited range for a day of driving around town.
 

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This is a perfect car for you. I'm sure that you can use your truck more than 2,000 miles a year and have the ED for the rest of your 10,000 miles for your 12K miles requirement.

Today, I have 6 months driving the ED and I got only 3,823 miles. So, I'm thinking that probably I'll put another 4,000 miles in the next 6 months and I'll be way below the 10K miles per year requirement on my lease.

This car is also great as a second car. I don't drive my Corolla any more. It's parked in the garage collecting dust.
I got this Smart ED just to go work but still I go to the market, to 711 to grab a gallon of milk, to CVS to grab some medicine, etc. It's a lots of fun driving this little car.
 

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A couple of comments

You are not going to make 68 miles on a one way trip in the winter, no matter how careful you are.

I have a triple A membership, the tier above the base and they do 100 mile flatbed tows no questions asked included free in the membership. I don't think it is too expensive but it varies by state, ymmv.

I have a couple of classic cars that leave me stranded on a semi regular basis and I just call them from wherever I am and they come get me and tow me home or to the mechanic.

The standard include smart roadside assistance will also pick you up wherever you run out of juice and tow you home or to a charging point, so you could set out for the dealer and if you don't make it, call them for a tow the rest of the way?

Have you talked to the dealer about your dilemma?
 

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I got them to increase to 12,000 miles a year on my lease for $6 more / month. I thought it was worth it. $6/2000 = $0.003 per mile

We put over almost 900 miles on the car already in the three weeks we've had it.

I use to commute in my ML63 and got an average of 13.3 mpg, 40 miles RT each day, 200 miles per week, plus weekend travel. If I just drive 12k miles per year in the Smart, I would save about 900 gallons of gas or about $3,100 / yr. I have been driving it about 13,000 miles per year in the ML and about 3k in my convertible.

In the back of my mind, I wonder if my work colleagues think I went insane.
 

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You say that you are currently driving 12,000 miles per year. You also say that your commute is 8 miles each way or 16 miles per day. Assuming that you work 5 days per week for 52 weeks per year, your commute is 16*5*52 = 4160 miles. That means the other ~8000 miles are weekends or evening trips. That is another 150 miles of driving each week. Are those short trips around town or long road trips?

When I purchased my smart fortwo in 2008, I kept my Chevy Trailblazer. While I am single, I had a dog, two foreign exchange students, and the need to haul tables and tents to festivals. I figured I would use the Trailblazer on the weekends and the smart car during the week. I now have 95,000 miles on the fortwo and might have put 5,000 miles on the Trailblazer. When it comes to gas, the smart's 40 mpg beats the Trailblazers 17mpg. Unless I need to move something big or carry passengers, I choose to drive my smart car. I have to make a specific effort to drive the Trailblazer to keep it in working order and the battery charged.
 

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First off; it's a 'smart' move with any EV to have multiple cars especially if you live in a climate where it gets cold at least part of the year --- EV's just do not perform all that well when it's below zero outside. I'm prompted to chime in because we own a '12 LEAF as well as an '08 smart coupe. We were actually thinking of trading the '08 smart for a new smart Ed but having two EV's just will not work in the winter for us. Our '08 has about half of the previous posters car miles (~ 45K now) and our '12 LEAF has 18.5K miles at 2 years, 2 months. The worst R/T work commute is only 30 miles but my wife does 'side trips' that tax the LEAF's range so she uses the smart on those days. You need to strike a balance and spreading it over more than one driver can work well -- my 'winter' car is a VW Touareg that averages a little over 20 MPG (on premium); so a daily commute at $3.60/gal is about $5.54 versus about 42 cents for the LEAF (average of 3.5 miles/kWh X 4.96 cents per kWh (fixed rate for electricity) so a HUGE difference). Besides just doing the math, the important things are not having any range anxiety at any time so we avoid that with multiple cars --- still looks like this is doable for the OP.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Original Poster here - I decided not to do it, but am now reconsidering.

Here's why I didn't: (in order of importance to me)

1 - Distance to dealer. The dealer is a 60ish mile all-highway run away. And by highway I mean 8 lanes of traffic doing 75mph bumper to bumper. So for any service or warranty work I'd have to burn up an entire day to get it there early morning, have them fix it, wait for a full recharge, then drive home. Other than the Nissan dealer a couple miles up the road, there aren't any public charging stations on the way. (There isn't really much of anything between my home and the nearest dealer) I would have been able to tow it to the dealer on a borrowed car trailer, but the owner sold it and got a 4x9 utility trailer. I understand MB's excellent roadside assistance program would get the car if it wouldn't drive, but if a non-drivetrain issue (AC breaks, for example) it would still be my responsibility to get it to the dealer. I asked. If I lived closer they'd bring me a C class loaner and trade me cars like the local MB dealer did when I had an old E class wagon. Local MB dealer isn't smart car and said they only do oil changes as a courtesy for a couple customers who have smarts as well as a few Mercs. (Must be nice!)

2 - Prius rage. Popular around here to "roll coal" into the open windows of a Prius. Understandable, as they are nearly always always driven by a self-righteous twit doing 56mph in the left lane, and they drive as if signaling a lane change would waste electricity. The "Hillary '16" stickers aren't helping. My driving style is not at all like that of Prius drivers, but I suspect just the tiny little car would inspire the local confederacy to get rowdy.

3 - it would sit outside much of the year. I have a big garage but during sailing season my boat and two cars live there. During winter I'd store the boat elsewhere and the smart can go in. Not really concerned about sun damage on the car, as it's a lease. But it does make the house look junky and I'd have to run the extension cord under the garage door.

So I ended up buying a KLR (dual-sport motorcycle) which gets 55mpg on 87 octane, has a range of 250 miles per fill up, fits in the garage between the two cars, and is a blast to drive.

Downsides - I have to (well, choose to) wear a helmet and safety gear. No heat, AC, or radio. A bit more hassle in the rain, but I like riding in the rain and have rain gear. Less safe in a crash, but the diesel truck/rebel flag guys give me the thumbs up. (Go figure)

If forced to give up motorcycling (life change, injury, mandate from the Mrs) I would head to the smart dealer right away. If there would be an incentive or two to knock the lease price down I'd add one to the fleet. If gas jumps up 30 cents, or something else happens to make it less of a break-even thing and more of a profit thing, I'd do it. That would justify the giving up a whole day to go to the dealership issue.
 

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I respect that decision! Sadly, EVs aren't at the stage where they can easily fit the needs of everyone. Not yet, at least.

For future reference: One of the EV owners on here posted in another thread a website that displays every charging station in your area (public, residential, business, etc). I can't find the thread though (maybe it was deleted???).

I used to think that there were no charging stations in my area either (save for the mall). Turns out, there are at least 100!!!! :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I had used that (very useful) website during my research. A few more available now, but between York, PA (home) and Catonsville, MD (smart dealer) there is nothing in the middle, and a few Walgreens and Nissan dealers at each end. I'd rather push an EV than spend 3 hours with sick people at a drug store. (But props to Walgreens for installing the plugs). There are some private residences several miles off the highway but I wouldn't be the best of company after having to take a day to get my car fixed.

The salesman did say he thinks there will soon be a service center "up my way" but offered no other details and I haven't found any confirmation so it was probably a salesman trying to salvage a sale he spent a lot of time on for nearly no commission. (I was scheduled between a GL and an E class delivery - kinda surprised a MB salesman even bothered with a smart sale)
 
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