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Discussion Starter #1
WARNING: The contents of this post may offend, discomfort, and/or rattle smart ED owners. Read on at your peril...

I am about to return home from a business trip to the American midwest. I was surprised and delighted to see that electric cars (NOT smarts) were available for rent on many streets, in the same way Zip cars are rented in numerous cities. This gives me the sense that the future of the electric car is bright (unless and until the fusion car arrives!). But here's where I go wrong.

I went to a mall specifically to shop at an Apple store, and found a Tesla store in the same mall. Having nothing but time on my hands, I went in and struck up a conversation with a sales rep. I told him right away that I was from out of town, wasn't shopping, and that I was merely curious about the Tesla. I informed him that I had recently bought a smart ED, and was learning the ins and outs of electric cars, and wanted to learn more from the market/technology leader.

Zounds! The first thing I learned is that a base Model S is about half the price I expected it to be. The rest of it really had me in awe: the fit of the body, the attention to detail (how the charging port opens and closes, the lights it uses to indicate its status, etc.) and some of the other details that aren't readily apparent. For example, the suspension can be adjusted numerous ways, the LED panel and dashboard are a wealth of information, and more features of the car than I can remember can be set and configured from a telephone app. One can even plan a trip and every Tesla supercharging station along the way can be plotted, along with the time needed to power up. I could go on and on, but I won't.

I mean no disrespect and intend no offense. But I purchased my smart ED to dip my toes in the electric vehicle waters. There's a lot of hand-wringing going on about the future of smart, and truthfully, I can say I really don't care. If and when I choose to enter the EV market whole-heartedly, I can tell you it won't be with a smart, but something more like a Tesla!

Who else has checked out other EV options? Are you locked into smart because it's a smart, or are you open to growing and changing with the times?
 

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Smart and Tesla are in two different income brackets. Besides the fact that a Smart could support a minimalistic life-style, still be more energy efficient based on weight and consumption(correct me if I'm wrong on that) and not to mention fit in many more places than any other vehicle on the mass market; Tesla will obviously still be superior in technology and the evolution of the auto. If I could have it my way I'd have both the Tesla Model 3 and a Smart ED. Unfortunately that's not in the budget at the moment. They're both fantastic for what they are, either way.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N910A using Tapatalk
 

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Our Smart is our first electric vehicle, and for the time being it will probably be the only one for us. My wife is retired and I will soon be as well, so the majority of our driving will be around a busy metropolitan area, where the Smart car is perfect. We have two other gasoline vehicles, one a compact sized SUV for longer drivers and road tripping, and a sports car that has been modified with an emphasis on running on the track.

The SUV is also used for soft-roading to various trailheads on surfaces where lightness is key. Also, we take road trips to locations where charging stations are relatively rare, and don't care to take two hour breaks during our driving to charge up in mid-trip. The current crop of electric vehicles aren't suited for running on the track, especially not seven 20-minute track sessions.

Our Smart serves our purposes very well, just like our other two vehicles also serve their purposes and electric cars can't, yet.
 

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Boy! I was looking for some kind of shocking revelation about electric vehicles. But all you were saying is that the the Tesla, besides having much more range and way-beyond-legal speed, and much more expensive, is full of lots of whiz-bang infotainment. Guess what? All that infotainment does not interest me. I can navigate fine without that stuff as I do when hiking or hang gliding. The beauty of nature outside the windows or the women on the sidewalks in the fashionable parts of town, is all the entertainment I need.

I bought the smart ED for a specific purpose the spouse's cross town commute on narrow hilly streets plus various errands - it hardly ever goes on an expressway of any sort, and for its wonderful simplicity of a traditional car, and compact size, handling and its price ($1200 down, $84 a month (the BAP).

With the end of the lease, the next electric vehicle will probably a Chevy Volt - using her little-used 2008 Hyundai Elantra for a trade-in. The Chevy Volt will be do everything both the Smart ED and the Elantra does - but we are not looking forward to its ponderous size and weight, its "fashionable" little windows and poor visibility, and all that "infotainment screen" crap.

(BTW, why be so cryptic - by "US Midwest" you mean Chicago or Minneapolis, right? The last time I was there certainly didn't see any electric cars in say, Vincennes, Indiana).
 

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Who else has checked out other EV options? Are you locked into smart because it's a smart, or are you open to growing and changing with the times?
I closely follow what else is out there and am totally brand-agnostic. So far, I haven't seen anything that I would want to replace my 451 ED3 with. And that includes the 453 ED.

Let's say I didn't have the 451, and we're only talking about new (which rules out the 451 assuming I can't get one of the 3 left in the country) - then I'd buy a 453 ED, here is why:
-All other EVs are more expensive
-All other EVs are bigger
-I don't give a *&% about all the whizbang, I just want to drive.
-I don't need a bigger battery. Sure, I'd like more range, but not enough to pay more for it.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Please tell us more about this EV-rental program! I am intrigued!
The program I saw was called BlueIndy. It's in Indianapolis, hence the name. There are numerous stations (up to 200 planned) around the city, with cars (up to 500) parked at charging stations. You reserve a car using a mobile app, then just pick up a car and go. You park it at any of the 200 stations, giving you a guaranteed parking spot. There's a tiered pricing program, from pay-as-you-go ($8 for 20 minutes and then $.40/minute thereafter) to a subscription model, where pricing varies (the prime plan is $9.99/month which gives you $4 for 20 minutes and $.20/minute thereafter.

As they advertise, no gas, insurance, maintenance or parking hassles. (I'm not sure how they pass the "no insurance" muster).

I've been to Indianapolis twice in the past three weeks, and there are BlueIndy stations pretty much everywhere. There was some controversy when it was implemented, not because of the technology, but because the contract was awarded without much public input, and the parking spaces that were allocated were in some cases prime spots that people did not appreciate being taken away.

On a whole, I think it's a pretty nifty idea. I can't speak to the economics, the logistics, or even the practicality of the program, but there's no disputing its evidence.

According to the BlueIndy website, "BlueIndy is based on the extensive experience of the Bolloré Group, which deployed in Paris the world’s largest and most successful electric car sharing service, as well as similar services in Lyon and Bordeaux, France."

Oh, the cars. This, from Clean Technica: "The Pininfarina-designed Bolloré Bluecar is a 3-door four seat hatchback all-electric car with a 30kWh battery good for 93 highway miles (speed-limited by blueindy to 65 MPH). Power is rated at 49 kW (66 hp). Acceleration: 0-60 in 6.3 seconds. Before you get excited, that’s 0-60 kilometers per hour (37 mph). Claimed 0-100 kph (62 mph) acceleration is 16.2 seconds. Not bad considering it only has a bit more than double the power of mid-range John Deere lawn tractor." Like the smart, the Bolloré Bluecar is a city car!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'd like to follow up on my previous comments, which were written while waiting to board an aircraft, and not in the comfort of my home, so they were a bit abbreviated. I'd like to follow up briefly, to clarify my purpose in writing them.

My point wasn't to be inflammatory, it was meant to be more fortune-telling (or forecasting, if you prefer). In light of the possible elimination of the smart brand (I'm pretty sure Pontiac and Oldsmobile owners didn't always see the coming of the end, either) I was actually encouraged to see that electric vehicle technology (and perhaps even more importantly, the infrastructure to support it) is moving ahead at an impressive pace.

It's not that Tesla is the end-all and be-all, but I daresay that Tesla constantly establishes the bar to which all others aspire. Given that the Model 3 is due to ship in 1-1/2 years, and is priced comparably to other current vehicles on the market, I am pleased that alternatives exist.

Personally, I think I'm the ideal customer for smart. I use my EV for short trips around town; I live six miles from my office. Eleven miles from the airport. I have three shopping centers within a two mile radius. Even on my busiest driving days, I rarely drive more than 45 miles in a single day. I'm the sole occupant of my vehicle 99% of the time. I don't need a lot of storage space. The smart is easy to drive (once you get used to the understeer), easy to park, and doggone it, I like the way it looks!

But what happens if smart goes away? That was the point of my post: there are alternatives. They may not be the equivalent of a smart fortwo, but the electric vehicle will continue to be a viable, if not soon-to-be dominant platform.
 

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Thanks for the info. So blue Indy is similar to Zipcar service like we have in Pittsburgh and a lot of other cities - but they are not electric. I recall that some other cities has another hourly car-sharing service and the cars were electric - Smart ED's. So the blue Indy concept is not new.

The downside of such a service is that most zipcar users are people who live in larger cities and don't own a car - they mostly use the zipcar for longer out-of-town trips (in town they use public transit for normal commuting and the like) so the car can't have range limitations.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
@Yinzer, there is another aspect to the BlueIndy offering that isn't widely known: You can subscribe to their network of charging stations and use your own vehicle. This potentially means that if you're a commuter, you could drive in and park in prime spaces and get a charge while conducting your business. I think all day would be prohibitive, but if you want to have a business lunch downtown, you could not only entertain, but get your car "topped off" at the same time!
 

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since it looks like the gas Smart may be a thing of the past, at least for the
USA does that mean the gas car has appreciated for anyone with a gas?
 

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There are a few mainstream EVs that undercut/compete the 451/453 EDs in price. Those are the Mitsubishi i-MiEV (yes, those are still a thing, apparently), the Chevy Spark EV, and I've been reading that people have been running away with absurdly deep discounts on new Fiat 500e too. The Ford Focus EV is only a few stacks north of a smart as well.

That said, the fortwo still reigns supreme for being the only convertible EV you can buy in any price range. There's something awesome about a quiet open air car.

If I could, I'd become a crazy cat lady of cars. I'd have a Volt for a long distance daily driver, a smart cabrio ED for a short distance daily driver, then a warehouse full of ICE smarts to drive on occasion (since we're dreaming, a Tesla Roadster smart too).
 

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I found my electric car. The guy I bought my rear rims from, had three electric cars. A Chevy Volt, Toyota Prius and ...........
!!!!! 2015 Tesla s P90D with Ludicrous mode..... He took me for a short ride.
Oh my gosh...At launch The g force alone is incredible. With 4 wheel drive in Ludicrous mode, think Catapult Launch from a an Aircraft Carrier. You're pinned back in the seat.
I have been in a two seat funny car. It isn't the same. There isn't any slide, no wheel spin, it's GRIP AND GOOOOOO. I WANT ONE

New Tesla s p100. 700hp $140,000
 

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There are a few mainstream EVs that undercut/compete the 451/453 EDs in price. Those are the Mitsubishi i-MiEV (yes, those are still a thing, apparently), the Chevy Spark EV, and I've been reading that people have been running away with absurdly deep discounts on new Fiat 500e too. The Ford Focus EV is only a few stacks north of a smart as well.

That said, the fortwo still reigns supreme for being the only convertible EV you can buy in any price range. There's something awesome about a quiet open air car.

If I could, I'd become a crazy cat lady of cars. I'd have a Volt for a long distance daily driver, a smart cabrio ED for a short distance daily driver, then a warehouse full of ICE smarts to drive on occasion (since we're dreaming, a Tesla Roadster smart too).
I LOVE my Volt!!!
Had it 2 months, 2000 miles and NO gas !!!
 

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We love our ED and drive it 99% of the time. We bought it off lease because it has been a great car, and it is certainly the most economical car we're ever likely to own. I'm always happy to tell anyone they should get an EV, based 100% on our experiences with the ED.

However if this were next year (2018) we'd probably have let the car go. Reluctantly. Like many others we're on the Model 3 waiting list, but there are also a bunch of refreshes and new vehicles coming in the EV space. Which would almost certainly mean we'd have let the Smart go, sold our Mazda, and consolidated to a 4 seater EV with about 200 miles of range.

So now we'll probably end up with both the Smart and a Model 3 and use the Smart as our beater.

The ED is a great little EV and I think its future is mostly a function of how much it costs MB / Smart to make it, and how they market it. When they don't ignore it, they seem pathologically insistent on marketing it as if it were an entry level Mercedes. That's certainly how they price it. If the 453 ED fails in North America the fault is squarely on Daimler's shoulders.
 

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MB doesn't offer the smart ED across the country. Even at the current smart dealerships. If you owned one, you wouldn't be able to have it serviced. Regular gas, averages $2.10 across the country. Their will be very few smart dealer, to even offer a EV. After all the ICE models are gone. Tesla lost its franchise here and St. Louis metro. Tesla are all over the road here. Who services them. ????? Does the cost of a Tesla, out way. The saving of gasoline, and service. Not really. Fiat dropped its 500e model. It had a range close to 121 miles. Only offered in California, and Oregon. $31k model. Mostly leased. Their are now sitting on used cars lots, $7-10k.
 

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MY08 cabrio MY09 cabrio Brabus MY15 ED
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MB doesn't offer the smart ED across the country. Even at the current smart dealerships. If you owned one, you wouldn't be able to have it serviced.
Ask an owner who lives in a non-CARB state?

ED service, what service?

3 years, NO SERVICE REQUIRED other than HV battery check?

"Fuel up" in my sleep - don't worry, be happy...
 
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