Inside EVs recently had a conversation with Smart’s USA boss Mark Webster. Mark is the GM of Smart (under Daimler) and recently took over the job in May. According to the Smart website, he “oversees business operations for this iconic brand” in the United States.
The Smart Electric Drive was launched in the 8 ZEV states. In 7 of them, the Smart ED launched on May 10th, and in California it launched on May 17th. Sales through the end of May totaled 60 vehicles, and Smart expects it to grow from there.
Smart is planning to launch the Electric Drive in 50 states in October, and they expect a little bit of an increase in October. For now, though, Webster says “we will just be in those 8 states and probably get a little bit more than those 60 per month until October, then we think it will go up a little bit after that.”
Smart is the first electric vehicle manufacturer to offer a battery rental program in the US, but according to Mr. Webster, 53 of the 60 customers (around 90%) in May opted for the Battery Assurance Plus program. The program provides for free maintenance and a replacement guarantee for the battery, and life of the battery is what customers seem to be most worried about in electric vehicles.
Approximately 40% of all May sales of the Smart Electric Drive were from California.