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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am not an environmentalist but love technology and would like to buy a used electric Smart. I see 2015's with less than 10k miles on them for less than $6000.00 which seems crazy cheap and feel real sorry for anyone that bought one new. I would like to buy one but have heard so much about batteries failing within 3 or 4 year and then the cost of replacement would be worth way more than the car. Just would like some of you experts that have had experience with the E version and if it would be a mistake to buy and what experience you guys have had with the batteries. Thanks
 

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Man, for 6000 American pesos get yourself a used Nissan leaf if you want electric. 50 miles of range in a smart car is barely enough to get to work and back most places.
If you want something economical get a 1st gen insight. I heard they get like 70mpg.
Or even better get yourself a c5 Vette with a manual.
I am not an environmentalist but love technology and would like to buy a used electric Smart. I see 2015's with less than 10k miles on them for less than $6000.00 which seems crazy cheap and feel real sorry for anyone that bought one new. I would like to buy one but have heard so much about batteries failing within 3 or 4 year and then the cost of replacement would be worth way more than the car. Just would like some of you experts that have had experience with the E version and if it would be a mistake to buy and what experience you guys have had with the batteries. Thanks
 

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Mine have a range of 80 miles or so for eight months of the year and about 70 for the colder months, but it rarely goes below freezing around here. We absolutely love ours and would buy them again in a second. They are perfect for how we use them. Almost no maintenance and they have been very trouble free. Battery issues have been very minor in the grand scheme of things, but of course if you are one that has a problem, that would suck if you had to pickup the cost.

Len
2014 EV Coupe 17,500 miles
2014 EV Cabriolet 11,000 miles
 

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But then buying a Leaf and dragging around 4 empty seats and 1600kg of steel and rare earth metals to take a lone occupant to work and back is hardly an environmentally friendly option.

Presumably an electric city car suits RickyM's needs, else he wouldn't be considering one in the first place. In that vein, I think he's asking if they're liable to be a reasonably reliable used buy, or is he asking from trouble. An interesting question, as such a car is liable to be my next scoot...even though I'm in my fifties and still cycle the 36 mile round trip to work.

Sokoloff's response is most informative. Of course, a duff ICE motor would also both suck and blow big time, and Smart do have form for that (MHD), and while the thought of battery problems may be scary they're probably still a less likely scenario than a petrol engine that's spat its dummy (pacifier).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
One of the things I have been searching on the net before I buy a Smart Ev is option to buy a replacement battery and replacing myself if the battery would go bad. I see companies selling ev batteries for other brands of electric cars but don't see anyone selling Smart battery packs. That was my big concern if the battery pack went bad as long as I wanted to keep the car. Batteries through dealers cost more than the car.
 

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Ricky - I think there are two reasons why you are having trouble finding replacement batteries for the Smart.

A. The volume of Smarts on the road is very small.

B. The number of Smarts needing a replacement battery is TINY and not worth stocking.

Your call which you believe. I'm going mostly with B.

Len
2014 EV Coupe 17,500 miles
2014 EV Cabriolet 11,000 miles
 

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If you have a smart ev with 80mi of range then you have to buy a leaf or something else for longer trips anyway. So that's even less environmentally friendly since producing another car creates way more bad stuff than just dragging around 1600kg of steel and seats.
Imo driving around a city always fearing that if you use the ac on high in traffic you might not make it to the destination is not worth it.
And if an electric city car really does suit ones needs then you have to deal with the fact that it's a used electric car with used batteries. At 6k for the car and another 2k+(just a guess) for new batteries I don't think it's worth it at all.
But then buying a Leaf and dragging around 4 empty seats and 1600kg of steel and rare earth metals to take a lone occupant to work and back is hardly an environmentally friendly option.

Presumably an electric city car suits RickyM's needs, else he wouldn't be considering one in the first place. In that vein, I think he's asking if they're liable to be a reasonably reliable used buy, or is he asking from trouble. An interesting question, as such a car is liable to be my next scoot...even though I'm in my fifties and still cycle the 36 mile round trip to work.

Sokoloff's response is most informative. Of course, a duff ICE motor would also both suck and blow big time, and Smart do have form for that (MHD), and while the thought of battery problems may be scary they're probably still a less likely scenario than a petrol engine that's spat its dummy (pacifier).
 

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I see 2015's with less than 10k miles on them for less than $6000.00 which seems crazy cheap and feel real sorry for anyone that bought one new. I would like to buy one but have heard so much about batteries failing within 3 or 4 year and then the cost of replacement would be worth way more than the car.
I see companies selling ev batteries for other brands of electric cars but don't see anyone selling Smart battery packs. That was my big concern if the battery pack went bad as long as I wanted to keep the car. Batteries through dealers cost more than the car.
Welcome to SCoA. At first read, your quiry seems to contain your answer - ED may not be for you as EV ownership does require some pioneering fortitude???

Crazy cheap resale - don't "feel sorry" as first your must examine what truly was the cost new - list net of federal, state and dealer incentives brings the true initial cost down to somewhere around $19-20,000 new.

Then too, MOST were leased with a rented battery. Add to that you are looking at a 4 year old low mileage niche EV vehicle with very little dealer/manufacturer support and smart's departure from the U.S. will likely soften prices even more???

I attended the Atlanta "funtestdrive event" (May 2013) and drove the prototypes years ago. Then for lack of interest on the part of my local smart Center leased my MY15 ED in California and had it shipped at my expense to the Carolinas only to buy my lease return at auction - I am EV/ED invested (w/Level 2 charger) and my ED continues to throw sparks daily around 70 + or - miles of The Carolinas!!!

HV battery failures have occurred (in ALL EV marquees) but likely at no higher a rate than an ICE vehicle having a power train failure???

NO, replacement HV batteries are not readily available from M-B or Pep Boys and may never be??? So if you buy a bargain ED - accept the reality that it could become a sled that cannot move under it's own power. :shrug:
 

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I don't "have" to buy anything. In the very, very rare instances that I would want to use a car for a journey of 80 miles or more I could hire one for a day for £45, instead of spending £10,000 plus insurance for it to sit idle 363 days a year. In fact, last time I had a journey beyond that range I got the train and snoozed the whole journey, which was very pleasant and stress free.

If I may respectfully day so, that's a daft proposition. I'm not going to own every potential category of car against the rare eventuality that I might one day need one. Aside from being a ridiculous financial proposition, raping the planet to build me 2 or more cars for my personal use is unjustifiable at any level.

I can only drive one car at a time, so it makes sense to buy one that is best suited for the clear majority of it's intended usage.
 

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Ricky, if you like small pod-like EV's, you could consider the Fiat 500e. They were only sold in California and Oregon, but folks have bought and shipped them around the world. You might get a bit more range than a Smart EV and the acceleration is pronounced. But like the Smart, servicing and parts availability can be a factor. You'd be buying one because you want it, not because it's necessarily the best choice. But hey, who wants to drive boring cars?
 

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At this time, an EV battery cost $12k to replace. Or, you can get a remanufactured battery for $10K. The bad news? They are 6-8 months out once you need one. They are building them as the old ones die... No existing inventory.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If the batteries would hold up a Smart EV would be perfect for me. I have a 2017 Camry that I have had for just short of 3 years and it only has 6800 miles on it. I am retired and live in a retirement community and mainly just drive to the grocery store and around my community. That's why it would be perfect. So want one but if batteries fail I basically have a car that's worthless unless some aftermarket company starts selling batteries. Still real tempted.
 

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That's what I did. I turned my leased ED with 22k and got a lease return for $5100 with 10k on the clock. If it dies, I'll get another and have a bunch of parts in the back yard and still be ahead. $10 grand doesn't get much of a car.
 

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If the batteries would hold up a Smart EV would be perfect for me.
Our ED is over 5 years old, we leased for safety and then bought the car because we love it. After 85,000 km it is still going strong. The battery gets discharged 60% twice a day 4 days a week and has been working fine in moderate Canadian winters. We've saved about $9,500 in avoided gasoline expenses. The battery is still at 95% capacity.

So as far as I'm concerned, it is the cheapest, most reliable and frustration free vehicle we've ever owned.

As for the tertiary market ED's, the only thing that I would caution you on is this. If the car has sat with little charge in extremes of temperature then it has been poorly treated. Those are not the best conditions to store lithium ion batteries.

The few battery failures that I've heard about are typically due to either extreme charge level imbalances in the cells, which the dealerships cannot remedy, or sensor failures in the pack. Both render the car "dead" for all practical purposes. A few hobbyists have managed to revive these, but it is definitely an act of dedication and passion.

That said, do buy an EV. Any of the used market vehicles will probably suit your needs. Plus they are a hoot to drive :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Well I bit the bullet. I bought a 2016 Smart Electric with 4200 miles on it. Paid $6200.00 which is crazy considering what they sell for new. Now lets just hope I have good luck with the batteries. :) I was looking on the number of Smart electrics sold these last few years and with such low number I have a feeling we may never see an aftermarket company selling replacement batteries. :(


 

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If the 12 volt battery is dead will the car not turn on at all?
the reason i am asking is that i found one that will not turn on, so to say.
 

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If the 12 volt battery is dead will the car not turn on at all?
A dead 12V will render ED dead as there is no juice to start the computer.

Is ED at dealer or PP?

Unless you are a gambler, no money should change hands unless ED can move (and take a charge from the EVSE) under it’s own power.
 

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To be clear, it is not the lithium batteries themselves that are failing - they will likely outlast the car. It is some kind of software/hardware glitch triggered by a very specific condition, seemingly related to the 12-volt battery being allowed to go flat, that then discharges the cells to zero. We (but not Mercedes Benz, it seems) are exploring this issue. It is another case of a perfectly good technology, which through incompetent execution, slanders the whole technology.

For now, keep a trickle charger on your 12V battery if you don't use if for 3 weeks or more.*** Also, keep it plugged in for charging if it is going to sit for several days at at temperatures of about 5F or colder.

***Today, I rigged charging/voltage-check access wires from that hard-to-get-to battery in the interior of the car, through the wire harness gland through the "firewall" behind the steering wheel to under the service flap ("hood"). This will make hooking a trickle charger for storage a lot easier. This is also needed becasue if your 12V battery ever goes dead with the car locked, there is no way to unlock it to get to the battery!
 

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Chopper,

I really agree with your points, but unfortunately, making car-buying choices with the environment in mind is not at all popular right now over her across the pond...
 
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