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By Nick Chambers ·
February 15, 2011

Electric Smart ForTwo Plans Unclear as Smart USA Merges with Mercedes

After dismal U.S. sales under the Penske Automotive Group, the Smart USA brand is heading for the comfortable territory of Mercedes-Benz USA. The transition is happening at a time when the Smart Electric Drive is starting to hit early consumers' hands, but the fate of the Smart ED is unknown.

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By Michael Coates ·
February 14, 2011

Smart ED Becomes First Nationwide Electric Car

Smart explained that because all its dealers can opt to lease the current Smart ED, it may be the first factory electric vehicle see in some markets, such as Milwaukee, Wisc.; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Jacksonville, Fla. "The majority (of dealers) have taken at least one," Smart Director of Communications Rick Bourgoise told While the numbers are low, this means that Smart ED becomes the first nationwide electric car. It's also the only one, besides the Tesla Roadster, that's available with a convertible top.

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By Nick Chambers ·
January 27, 2011

Smart USA Delivers First ForTwo Electric Car—Also Available as a Convertible

Chalk up another first delivery for an electric car manufacturer in the U.S.—smart USA has delivered the first of 250 nationwide pilot program electric vehicle leases, leading up to a full launch in 2012. The vehicle, a purpose-built electric smart ForTwo—also known as the smart ED—comes in both a hard top and cabriolet configuration, making it the first average consumer-targeted electric convertible on the U.S. market

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By Josie Garthwaite ·
January 27, 2011

Wanted: Fair Costs for Electric Car Home Charger Installations

As a new generation of plug-in vehicles rolls off the assembly line, a new cadre of consumers has entered the market for home charging equipment. Federal and state incentives are designed to help offset installation costs, which can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars. But some customers and electric vehicle advocates worry that the very programs meant to help lower costs for charger installations in practice have set the stage for price gouging.

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By Brad Berman ·
December 03, 2010

Electric Smart ED Hits Market in “Matter of Weeks”

The small Smart ED (electric drive) vehicle somehow got lost in the recent L.A. Auto Show’s shuffle of high-profile electric car announcements from Honda, Toyota and others. Meanwhile, the Smart ED will begin rolling out its first units—okay, probably a trickle of its first 250 cars—in December. We dropped by the Smart booth in L.A. and spoke with Rick Bourgoise, director of communications at Smart USA, to get a few details. Watch the video.

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By Brad Berman ·
October 25, 2010

Daimler and China's BYD Move Forward on EV

Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said Sunday that the German automaker and China’s BYD have “made good progress” on specifications for a jointly produced electric car. The partnership could help BYD with its plans to roll out its comprehensive electric car zero-emissions strategy, while providing Daimler better access to massive-scale battery manufacturing and the world's largest auto market.

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By Michael Coates ·
September 19, 2010

Europeans Push For New Charger Plug

Concerned about fast-charging that will allow EVs to fully replace internal combustion engine vehicles, German automakers are pushing for an upgraded connector plug that will accommodate Level 3 and future direct current (DC) charging.

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By Nick Chambers ·
September 14, 2010

Renault-Nissan and Daimler Expand Collaboration on Electric Cars

Last April, the Renault-Nissan Alliance and Daimler formed a partnership to help all three companies meet ever-tighter global emissions and fuel economy regulations. Today Daimler's research chief, Thomas Weber, said that the partnership's work regarding electric cars will be expanded.

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By Nick Chambers ·
June 28, 2010

Panel of Electric Car Insiders Says Plug-ins Will Only be Successful with Collaboration

At a Congress in Bilbao, Spain this week, a panel of plug-in experts and industry insiders concluded that electric vehicles can only be successful in the long term if all the stakeholders collaborate and share technology and designs. Although there have been a few recent tendencies in that direction, most of the panel agreed that there needs to be much more—especially as it relates to collaboration between utilities and automakers.

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By Nick Chambers ·
June 25, 2010

Electric Smart Car Put Through the Paces with Generally Favorable Results

AutoblogGreen had a chance to take the Electric Smart Car for a test drive and have reported that changing the ForTwo into a plug-in has actually made it a better car. Take the transmission and the engine out of the picture, add in an electric motor and some batteries, and, apparently, the Smart becomes "downright enjoyable to drive." Yet, even though the Smart ED has a lot going for it it is hampered by one critical element: its price.

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New to EVs? Start here

  1. Seven Things To Know About Buying a Plug-In Car
    A few simple tips before you visit the dealership.
  2. Incentives for Plug-in Hybrids and Electric Cars
    Take advantage of credits and rebates to reduce EV costs.
  3. Buying Your First Home EV Charger
    You'll want a home charger. Here's how to buy the right one.