Daimler Announces Electric Smart for 2010

by Benjamin Jones on June 23, 2008

Daimler Smart Car

image: Mr. Thomas

A few months ago Daimler reported that they were testing 100 electric versions of its Smart car in London, and that if all went well they would work on putting the car into production for the general population to buy. Well, now Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche has said that all did go well. This means that the company will release its EV Smart in 2010, the same year the Chevy Volt is scheduled to come out.

Personally, I find it funny that Daimler can go from no electric car to a firm release date so easily and with so little fanfare, while the blogosphere seems poised to trip over every word that comes out of Bob Lutz’s mouth about the not-even-EV Chevy Volt. But, that’s really a story for another post.

No price has yet been released for the EV to be. Because the Smart is known not only as a fuel efficient car, but a cheap car, Daimler is deciding whether it wants to sell the batteries with the car or lease them. Leasing has the advantage of a lower up-front cost, but will also mean continued cost of ownership.

Also, no mention was made of whether or not the Smart EV would be released in the US. Seeing as how the car just made the jump across the pond, it’s likely that the first incarnation will be a Europe-only affair.

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1 Tom June 25, 2008 at 5:39 am

Wait there isn’t even a plan to release this in the U.S. yet? Wow, so I can’t imagine why American blogs would be more excited about an American EV car being released in America.

2 Uncle B July 24, 2008 at 12:41 pm

GM is stuck in a time warp. Everything they touch wreaks of 1930’s automotive school theorem. to see what can be done, look up the Aptera Typ – 1e or the VW Polo. If you can’t fit your ass into one of these, you are too fat for the 21st Century. Remember: it takes one little yellow lady in China to replace the daily output of four American workers, and they do it for a bag of rice! The folks in India have ravaged our American computer workers, they work night and day, no unions, 24/7, and are thankful for their bag of rice! Can you imagine, the South Korean worker, who refuses to eat American beef for fear of becoming like us! They out-work us, take a bag of rice gratefully, and riot in the streets against adding our beef to their diet! GM is not the problem, we are! GM is actually turning a good profit selling Buick’s, made and sold in China! Hang onto your hats Yanks, you are about to get your asses reamed by plug-in electric Smart cars!

3 MJK July 25, 2008 at 11:14 am

I think it’s because the Volt was announced pretty early on and they’ve done a lot to try to market — or “hype” if you will — that car’s strong points. Now it seems like the whole market for EVs and PHEVs is expanding rapidly.

4 Dave July 25, 2008 at 11:16 am

I actually saw an all electric Smart on the road yesterday. It was being towed on highway 12/14 in Madison towards Milwaukee. It had a website on the back with “100% electric!” above it or something to that effect, but I couldn’t make out the website before I had to take my exit. Anybody have any more info on it? I want one! Thanks!

5 t farrell July 25, 2008 at 11:42 am

cmon uncle buck….

I pay upwards to 60% of each dollar I earn in taxes – so i am working for a bag of rice as well.

6 Mike I July 25, 2008 at 12:05 pm

GM doesn’t know what they’re doing as a company. They don’t know how to release good products (that the free market will sell) at the right time. You want to know why everyone “trips over” everything that Bob Lutz says? Because the man is completely unqualified to run that dog-awful company.

I find it funny that so many “conservatives” love to love the domestic auto companies. For the most part, the domestics make terrible decisions and as a result, terrible products. I am a true conservative… Let the free market go to work. Want to know why the domestics aren’t doing well? Because their branding, business decisions, and products are terrible.

I am much more for a company like Tesla that is highly responsive to the market. Tesla strives to innovate (something the domestic auto companies haven’t done for thirty years.) As an American conservative, I want to see our automobile industry strive to be the best. I want to see our automobile industry innovate and do so before others do. They need to follow Apple’s model… Innovate and when the others try to copy, change the game all over again. Apple’s products are innovative, profitable, reliable, properly branded and gorgeous. The current domestics are far too dysfunctional to do anything similar to that.

America used to be cutting-edge. I crave for the day that we will be again.

7 Dustin July 25, 2008 at 12:10 pm

How am I about to get my ass handed to me exactly? If they released these in America, they would sell out just as fast as Prius’s or any other groundbreaking car.

8 AA July 25, 2008 at 12:15 pm

an American electric car would save my American ass from being reamed by the ultimate in American greed (big American oil). I need my cash to drink more American (Belgian) beer.

9 Smart July 25, 2008 at 1:35 pm

Some of the very first Smart prototypes (“Swatchmobile”, uhhh, like 10 years ago), were electric. Can they pull it off? Sure.

10 Stephen Harper July 25, 2008 at 5:02 pm


The smart car made the jump across the pond years ago. These have been available for several years in Canada. Only now has the good ol US of A just been allowed to have them.

Perhaps Canada will be the first ‘across the pond’ to receive the the EV model as well.

11 Krazd July 28, 2008 at 9:30 am

This things will sell like hot cakes if they brought these over to the States..

12 kevin August 29, 2008 at 1:53 pm

hey Dave,

Check out http://www.milwaukeeev.com. They have street legal electric cars.

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