Smart ForTwo Goes Electric: New Smart Car ED & Car2Go Review

Smart ForTwo Goes Electric: New Smart Car ED & Car2Go Review

Posted 09.14.2009 in Articles by Christopher

Daimler has added an electric counterpart to their lineup of gasoline-powered smart cars with the release of the 2013 smart fortwo electric drive. This zero-emissions vehicle stays true to the signature compact design of the smart series, with its own unique crystal white/electric green exterior reserved only for the electric drive model. 

A variation on the popular smartcar series developed by Daimler, the new smart ED was designed to be the perfect city car. The ultra-compact design is ideal for squeezing into tight spaces, which is particularly helpful for parking in heavily congested areas. Two distinctions set the smart ED apart from the rest of the smartcar family. First, the smart ED doesn't need the clunky transmission in the gas models, eliminating the single most significant limitation of the original North American smart car. Second, the electric drive make this one of the most cost-efficient cars available today.

By going electric, the operating costs for the smart ED are reduced to next to nothing. The cost per mile is 25 cents for a typical car. Driving electric brings that cost down to under 5 cents per mile. With the smart ED, and any other electric car, you no longer have to deal with the hassle of tune-ups and oil changes. Aside from the occasional replacement of brakes and tires, you spend practically nothing on maintenance. 

The best way to test drive the new smart ED in North America is through the Daimler-owned car sharing program, Car2Go. Instead of test driving a smart car for a few minutes before making a decision, the Car2Go program lets you use a smart car as frequently as you want. This gives you the ability to experience the smart car as you would with your everyday vehicle, so you can make a better assessment of its fit with your lifestyle. 

Car2Go has a low signup fee, which is often waived during promotional periods. Once you're a member, all you need to get started is the membership card and the smart phone app. The app provides a map that shows you all the available Car2Go smart cars within the vicinity. Once you find a car, inspect it to make sure there is no damage to the vehicle. Wave your Car2Go card over the windshield to unlock the smart car, and once inside, put the card into the cardholder located on the dash, and drive. 

The program works on a pay per minute basis. Whenever you're finished using the smart car, you can leave it parked anywhere within a Car2Go service area. If you need to run an errand but don't want another Car2Go member to drive off with it while you're away, you can continue to keep the car on reserve. You do have to pay for the duration of your reservation, but in areas where there are plenty of available Car2Go cars, downtown for example, it's often a better idea to end your reservation after you've parked. You can pick up your car later if it's still vacant or hop into another one within the area.

The Car2Go sharing program is the easiest way to rent a car ever. Although the per day rate is not cheaper than you would pay at a regular rental center, Car2Go is great for quick trips and eliminates the significant time you'd spend picking up and dropping off a car at a rental store. It also gives you the freedom to test the smart car ED extensively without having to make a big commitment to purchase on the spot. By taking advantage of the Car2Go program, you can not only see if the smart car is a good fit, but also if electric cars in general work well for your everyday life. More membership information on signup fees and rates can be found on Car2Go.com.

The smart car ED provides an eco-friendly and cost-effective way to get around the city, while the Car2Go program lets you in on the electric car experience first-hand. After experiencing the benefits of the smart ED and the convenient Car2Go program, it's easy to conclude that the electric drive was a smart move on the part of Daimler motors.

 

 

Image (CC) chuckoutrearseats

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