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2020 smart became the world's first conventional manufacturer to convert to an electric car brand. The brand had already discontinued the diesel at the end of 2014 and now also the gas engine. This means that smart is now on par with Tesla.
As we fans have already noticed, the change takes it's time, there is no immediate success. But the joint venture with Geely should change that soon.

It took Tesla many years before they had any success to show off. At smart things should go a little faster, but it is now important that the community sticks together and supports the brand:
The first thing to come is a new model, the media are talking about an SUV, but continue to promise it's going to be in the B segment. What's the new strategy? Why won't it be an actual SUV? That's what I want to go into in this article.



Topics in this article:
And yes: Personally, I can see a future where smart could come back to America.
 

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The problem with electric cars is excessive price compared to fueled equivalent car, and also range worry. In the UK we have only 9 years till 2030 and that's the end of buying new petrol (gas) cars. Period!. Not sure about the USA but I do not see you lot buying 'just electric cars' for quite a while.

At present the Smart French factory is still producing 453 EQ's (electric only car),since the end of production of petrol Smarts in 2019. I rushed out and changed my 453 2016 cabrio for a 453 2019 cabrio with petrol engine, one of the last made. When entering UK Mercedes/Smart dealerships now, there is a total lack of new Smart cars available in the showrooms, as there is only EQ's, and most are built to order.

I saved around £5,500 by buying a petrol version instead of an electric EQ that was a crazy £20,000 for the base model. Also fuel range on the present EQ is between 60 miles and maybe 90 miles at best, depending on outside temperature and road conditions. Not very good. Also batteries should last 7 or 8 years max, though efficiency of charging drops over the years, 70% holding charge around 4 years in, and then less after each year, then its a case of replacing cells or the whole battery pack at a cost of thousands. Cost of home fast charger installation here is another £500, though Smart UK at present are offering a free installation on that, if you buy an EQ.

Now we come to the 2022 model going to be made in a new Chinese factory. Going by what has been produced by Geely (see above picture) it looks awful. Anyway even if they produce a fantastic looking futuristic Smart in 2022, the cost will most surely be above the present electric EQ pricing and not worth the money , and mileage range will not be that much better.

I have been with Smart from 2003 with my 450, then the 451, then the roadster soft top, and now the 453's, but unfortunately that will be the end for me.

There needs to be a rethink on price and mileage range for new electric cars, for it to be accepted as worth moving onto. Meanwhile I will just stick with petrol.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks to the tip of an EQpassion reader, we now roughly know how long the current fortwo should be build:
Le Républicain Lorrain writes in a French article from the 14. January 2021 that the plant in Hambach will continue the fortwo till 2024.
So we can assume that the upcoming "smartSUV" will not replace the fortwo 2022, but will expand the model range of smart.
2024 also seems right as that's how long smart usually sells a model after they gave it a facelift.
 

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Based on "reports from China", Autocar roumors, that the new smartSUV from the Daimler AG / Geely Global joint venture will have the following basic information:
• Rear wheel drive
• Motor with up to 268 bhp
• Battery with less than 70 kWh
• Over 500 km (Chinese NEDC standard range)

Finally, the highly speculative article reiterates that Daimler is responsible for the design and Geely is responsible for the development and production.
It's also confirmed what EQpassion readers are already familiar with: The smart SUV will be sold parallel to the smartEQfortwo and smartEQforfour. It won't replace them, instead expand the product range.

The flagship of the article is the picture you see below. This is a fan image of "Autocar". It is a mixture of the smart vision EQ fortwo and the smart forease study.

65651
 

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There's more! Lescow said that not only is Smart building this one SUV, but likely two SUVs using the SEA platform.

And weirder yet, Lescow made a point to say this:

Vehicle length alone is no longer a decisive factor for us ... we have redefined the requirements for Smart.

We want to radiate even more premium and not appear quite so playful.
The new Smart SUVs will seemingly abandon what we love about the brand, presumably to chase Chinese buyers.

Hopefully the new fortwo keeps the playful vibes.

 
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True, he's speaking of multiple models. At least two.. ;)
 
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