Smart Transitioning Over to Electric-Only Vehicles in North America

  • Smart Transitioning Over to Electric-Only Vehicles in North America

Smart Transitioning Over to Electric-Only Vehicles in North America

Mercedes-Benz representative Rob Moran said that the gas controlled Smart ForTwo auto and convertible will be ended after 2017 model.

However, the Smart cars aren't the only tiny cars who have seen declining sales. The strategy is one of four pillars of parent company Daimler's overarching strategy known as CASE which calls for cars that are Connected, Autonomous, Shared and Electric.

Although neither Fortwo powertrain has proved particularly popular among US consumers (Smart sold just 5440 Fortwos and 771 Fortwo EDs last year), the brand believes its upcoming second-generation Fortwo ED provides a blueprint for its new, all-electric North American sales strategy.

However, Mercedes says that the fourth-generation Smart electric vehicle will start this summer. "Electric is central to our long-term powertrain strategy in the US, and the smart fortwo electric drive will play an important role in carrying this forward", the letter said.

Smart's shift to electric will start this summer. "A dedicated focus on the electric drive in the United States and Canada provides a logical step to support a sustainable, zero emissions future", Exler said. The 2017 ForTwo EV will have 80 horsepower and 118 lb-ft. of torque, and have a range in the region of 100 miles. "A dedicated focus on the electric drive in the US and Canada provides a logical step to support a sustainable, zero emissions future".

While the electric microcar could occupy a niche in the U.S. auto market, its gas-powered sibling wasn't able to hold onto that position. That's down from its 2008 peak when the company sold 24,622 cars, 30 percent of which were EVs. Its sales held steady from 2012 to 2014 at around 10,000 units per year. By a year ago, that figure had dropped precipitously to 6,211. In a letter, Dietmar Exler, CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA stated that the developments in the microcar segment show a few difficulties for the present Smart product portfolio. Instead, the brand will limit USA and Canadian sales to just the battery-powered Smart Fortwo Electric Drive, or ED.