Smart To Sell Electric-Only Cars In The US And Canada
The transition will make Smart a dedicated EV brand for North America
Micro car brand Smart will no longer sell gas-powered cars in the United States and Canada starting in 2018. News of the decision was first reported by Automotive News which obtained a letter from Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Dietmar Exler to U.S. dealers discussing the change. PSFK confirmed the news with Donna Boland, Manager, Corporate Communications at Mercedes-Benz USA.
“We’re eliminating the gasoline version and putting all the effort behind the electric which factors strongly in our long-term electric vehicle strategy.”
There is a new fourth generation of the electric drive Smart fortwo due to arrive in spring of 2017. It was shown recently at the LA Auto Show. It is expected to offer a range of around 99 miles and can be recharged in 2.5 hours.
Smart may become a global EV-only brand eventually. At the launch of the new Smart fortwo electric at the Paris auto show in 2016, it was announced that the electric drive system would become available on every model including the four-door Smart forfour. Stricter pollution regulations under consideration for cities like Paris, which has tested out banning cars altogether, may force the move.
One question car-sharing users might be asking is what does this mean for the Car2Go service which uses a majority of gas-powered fortwos. Street-side electric-charging infrastructure isn’t readily available.
We contacted Car2Go and got a reply from Dacyl Armendariz, Communications Manager, who said they are sticking with gas-powered models for the foreseeable future. The service has begun to add Mercedes-Benz CLAs and GLAs to the fleet expanding it beyond just a single model.
Photos: Dave Pinter