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Kyle Conner of "Out of Spec Motoring" is a car reviewer and YouTube content creator. He wrote this article a couple of years ago for the Hooniverse website. I thought everyone might like to see it:

The Electric smart is the only perfect car

Some of the videos don't seem to work, but you can read the text.

He has a number of videos on Youtube about his adventures with his smart.
 

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Elio seems hopeless, but I do believe they are planning an electric version...

My wife and I got to test drive Electra Meccanica SOLOs at the LA Auto Show (I think in late November).

I think it's great that they got working models out. Elio set bad presidence.....

(There's still hope for a small electric vehicle. The choice of "ED" was kind of a turn off as well)...

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I don't see any US market for small 2 seat electric vehicles, other than as a novelty / toy. Even less of a market than there was for the gas version.
 

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2014 Cabriolet bought in Sept 2016 with 6,470 mi
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jzchen: Elio was always a pie in the sky - there is no way they could have every sold a vehicle for under $9K.

Jo e Lefors: There won't be a big market for a small, under 200 miles of range electric vehicle in the US until there is enough charging infrastructure in cities to support people who don't have a garage owning one. Once the cars can be easily and quickly charged while parked on the street, then there are large numbers of people who could use one.
 

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jzchen: Elio was always a pie in the sky - there is no way they could have every sold a vehicle for under $9K.

Jo e Lefors: There won't be a big market for a small, under 200 miles of range electric vehicle in the US until there is enough charging infrastructure in cities to support people who don't have a garage owning one. Once the cars can be easily and quickly charged while parked on the street, then there are large numbers of people who could use one.
Even then I doubt it.
 

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I wish they wouldn't expect to source everything from the USA. It would be hard to cut costs and sell at a low price at the same time. (They should contact my sister-in-law's company for any PCBs they need manufactured). Even Tesla buys PCBs from the company she works for, not made in the USA. They really need to start selling....

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I dunno, an electric Miata would be interesting! But in general I agree, a small car needs to cheap, or sporty, or have something special about it.

I don't see any US market for small 2 seat electric vehicles, other than a novelty / toy.
 

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About the only way to sell electric cars in the US now is to offer taxpayer's money both Federal and State as a rebate/incentive.
If you check EV sales in Europe, China, etc. you'll see that sales are really taking off with
several countries having more than 50% of their annual sales being electric.
North America will probably be last in uptake...Look for many legacy automakers to
disappear over the next ten years.
 

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America is stuck on huge gas guzzling vehicles. And not afraid to drive too far to work.
I passed up two 6 figure jobs that were 25 and 27 miles away from home because I will not drive more than 20 miles to work. So my Electric Smart works perfectly to commute the never-ending drive to work and back, where I see so many 4 door trucks with just a driver.
In the 4 years I have driven my Smart I have saved $6,240 in gas, I only paid $8,000 for the car and enjoy the quiet zippy torque go cart feel!
 

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If you check EV sales in Europe, China, etc. you'll see that sales are really taking off with
several countries having more than 50% of their annual sales being electric.
North America will probably be last in uptake...Look for many legacy automakers to
disappear over the next ten years.
Aren't the great majority of EV's in Europe being made by "legacy automakers"?
 

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Where we live. There are Tesla’s everywhere. The next smart car, will continue to be a EV. But a car, that practical, and meets the consumers need. The only reason I bought my little ICE smart. Was to save gas. With all the new larger EV’s being offered. Fuel isn’t a issues. I’d buy this new smart car, in a heart beat.

Wheel Tire Vehicle Car Automotive tire



 

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Had 2014 Smart ED leased vehicle. Car was nice riding, no transmission issues like ICE version ( had 2011 Pure).
Smart cars were a compliance vehicles for M Benz. With so many other EVs on market now they stand little chance. Upgraded to 2019 BMW I3 BEV vehicle that has DC fast charging, with range ~ 140/160 miles got it used. Like that hatchback design, now can put my bike inside... try that with Smart For Two. Smart was ideal for city like San Francisco where parking is huge problem, and no driving in snow problems (like in Denver metro area). Smarts for US market little outdated these days.
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According to Sandy Munro (real EV expert, check him on YouTube ) we can expect Chinese EVs in USA around 2028!
Volvo is selling EVs, those could be considered product of China, for sale in USA... My 2019 BMW I3 has ~ 30% content made in China, older 2014 I3 had no parts from China. Legacy automakers will face challenge soon.
 

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I believe they are currently however, the number of Chinese made EVs being approved and sold is amazing!
OK. I interpreted your comment as being from a Musk/Tesla fan perspective. The prevalence of Teslas as almost the only EV on the roads in many N. American areas is a product of a cheap-gasoline culture that is still mightily resisting EV's save for that urban upper middle class sector where Teslas are very fashionable.

I predict that the USA will obstinately remain a land of huge IC engine cars, especially huge "lifestyle" pickup trucks, long after the rest of the world has gone over to EV's. A probable future entrenched conservative government can do a lot to make sure this happens. The price of gasoline can be kept low by incentives to tap the enormous domestic unconventional (primarily fracked shale) reserves still present in the USA as US exports of oil dwindle. The NHTSA fuel economy standards will be abolished and, of course, the USA will have long left any global CO2 emissions agreements. The rest of the world will have to soldier on without any cooperation from the USA on that matter.

Unfortunately, that is the depressing future that I predict.
 

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I also believe EV's are the future of automobiles, however they are not yet the panacea that is being touted in the marketplace.
1) We are dependent on too many fossil fuel power generation plants, and with a reluctance to use nuclear generation (and its associated hazards), we do not have a clear, consistent, alternative. I think many computer models have shown the EV ends up causing as much emissions as newer ICE autos.
2) We have yet to realize the environmental impact to recycle large quantities of EV batteries when they become totally spent. It could become as much of a issue as the nuclear power generation waste.
3) Americans are too accustom to "road trip" vacations to accept 1-2 hour "refueling" stops.
4) Many states (TX & CA as an example) have aging, unreliable, power distributions infrastructure that would be unable to tolerate millions of EV's being plugged in at night.

All this points to massive infrastructure upgrades needed to realize the benefits of EV. Our usual mode of operation is to build the top rug of the ladder first, then figure out how to get up there. This is not different, we need to start somewhere...
 

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I also believe EV's are the future of automobiles, however they are not yet the panacea that is being touted in the marketplace.
1) We are dependent on too many fossil fuel power generation plants, and with a reluctance to use nuclear generation (and its associated hazards), we do not have a clear, consistent, alternative. I think many computer models have shown the EV ends up causing as much emissions as newer ICE autos.
2) We have yet to realize the environmental impact to recycle large quantities of EV batteries when they become totally spent. It could become as much of a issue as the nuclear power generation waste.
3) Americans are too accustom to "road trip" vacations to accept 1-2 hour "refueling" stops.
4) Many states (TX & CA as an example) have aging, unreliable, power distributions infrastructure that would be unable to tolerate millions of EV's being plugged in at night.

All this points to massive infrastructure upgrades needed to realize the benefits of EV. Our usual mode of operation is to build the top rug of the ladder first, then figure out how to get up there. This is not different, we need to start somewhere...
Comments:

1) Even with fossil (mostly natural gas at this point) generation, the direct emissions of EVs are less. But yes, the huge supply-chain emissions (which using ships will be unaviodably fossil-powered) for mining and transporting all the lithium, cobalt, nickel, copper, rare earths etc. in an EV have got to be up there. And of course, it is doubyful that there is even enough of these resources to replace the rapidly growing global fleet of cars with battery electric. The whole incredibly wasteful model of the personally-owned car in urban environments - which spends only a small fraction of its lifetime being used - will probably need to be replaced with improved public transportation and community car pools.

2) I don't believe this is a problem. All the materials in lithium-ion batteries are low-to non toxic. This will be especially true as non-cobalt chemistries are adopted. Evaporate the electrolyte and you could eat the materials in the LiFePO4 cells in my motor scooter, although they would not taste very good. Even the electrolyte is no more toxic than methanol.

3) Fast charging already only takes 20 to 40 minutes, not 1 to 2 hours. After driving 4 to 5 hours, most drivers spend almost that much time going to the loo, getting a drink and snack, etc.

4) Power distribution can be fixed. Demand is already lower at night so EV's charging at that time has minimal impacts. For average daily driving charging involves about as many KWh as running a clothes dryer for a couple hours.
 
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