The battery-powered version of the small Smart car is also going tohave the smallest pricetag for an electric car from a major maker.
SmartUSA, which is now part of Mercedes-Benz, says it is going to price thetwo-seater at $25,000 before tax rebates. The convertible version,called the cabriolet will retail at $28,000 when both come to the U.S.next spring. The base price is about $8,000 less than other electricslike the Nissan Leaf.
"A signature characteristic of the Smartbrand is its commitment not only to being green but to making peoplethink differently about it," said Tracey Matura, general manager ofSmart in a statement. "Green can be fun. Green can be affordable. And alot of us don't really need a four-seater, or at least not for everytrip."
Now that it's part of Mercedes and there's an actual adbudget, the Smart is selling better. Sales have almost doubled in thefirst nine months compared to the same period last year.
The Smartelectric won't exactly have blazing speed. It will go from zero to 60miles per hour in about 12 seconds. No word on range, but it willrecharge from 20% to 80% of its lithium-ion battery's capacity in lessthan four hours on a 240-volt socket.