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2013 Smart Fortwo Electric Drive review

What is it?

The electric-vehicle market continues to shift. There’s an increased interest from automakers to build EVs, despite consumers’ barely matched interest to buy them. To say Americans have been cautious in adopting this latest vehicle technology is an understatement. Threats of fires and high entry costs have made electric cars unappetizing during a time when many in Middle America cannot afford a $40,000 car, regardless of how good the gas mileage is.

Today we have nearly 10 electric vehicles on the market—ranging from a plug-in version of Toyota’s beloved hybrid, the Prius, to the slick new Ford Focus Electric.

Although Smart’s Electric Drive did not hit U.S. shores until 2011, the company has been testing consumers’ appetites for electric vehicles since launching a 100-car pilot program in 2007. Smart’s third-generation all-electric coupe and cabriolet are set to arrive next spring, coming at a price that will undercut the competition.

The car targets consumers eager to set the pace for transportation alternatives. The idea here is that eco-conscious drivers and urban pioneers will soon rejoice over zero emissions. These early adopters will then smugly pretend to forget the “pain at the pump.” One could argue they are merely trading for another hurt—the pain of finding a plug.


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