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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Electric Smart Car

Yup, I saw it up close and personal, one of the first (I guess it was a U.S. prototype) Electric Smart Cars that was out for a drive and ended up in the Apple Inc. parking lot as I was leaving after having lunch with my hubby a few weeks ago. So cute! It looks like a Smart For Two, only different. The first thing I noticed was that the hubcaps were colored green. Huh? All of a sudden it hit me that this was a special Smart Car and I guessed it was an electric one.

It only took a glance to confirm my suspicion once it parked.

The Electric Cars of America website describes the car this way:
The electric car is a zenn car—zero emissions no noise. An electric vehicle—or EV—is a car that utilizes electricity as its primary source of power. We think that’s smart—which stands for Superbly Manufactured and Reliable Transportation.
There is a great review with LOTS of pictures on The Green Auto Blog if you want all of the details.

So cute! The man driving the car said that 250 would be released this fall and 50 would be sold in the Bay Area. I would LOVE to have an Electric Smart Car but the ticket price is considerably higher than the original gas version. I've read online that prices for the electric will start at $35,000. Not sure if that's accurate or not but that's over my budget for now.

I've read online the car can go 70 miles on a full charge. That would be enough to get me up to the city but not all the way back home so I guess I'd have to recharge while I'm there if I drove up to San Francisco. It's be worth the extra effort though to drive a zero emissions car.

And of course the car had a built in iPhone holder. You can see the phone's little colored onscreen squares on the right side of the console. Ah, a girl can dream. If you've been reading this blog since last June you're already aware that I've been wanting a Smart Car for quite a while now. Maybe I won't get a Smart Car this fall but I really want to get one someday!

CLICK HERE to visit the Smart Car of America website.


  1. I too loved the Smart car from my first European trip. Unfortunately, it is terribly unsuitable for California highways. High speed means high revs for the tiny engine or faster drain on the small battery pack. You also don't want to go head to head with an SUV in one of these. Check out the Aptera (my dream car) which has an internal rollcage (safer) and much lower wind resistance (aka, better range and efficiency).

  2. LOL Oren. I also saw the Apetera in the Apple parking lot last year and blogged it:


    Only problem is the last I heard the car had been shelved for a bit but I can't recall why. I'm sure eventually they will move forward again. I would love an Aptera!

  3. Oren do you know if the Smart Car tridion safety cell is different from the internal roll cage you mentioned?

  4. I'm not a materials expert nor do I claim any expertise in auto design, but I do believe that a larger frontal surface area (like the Aptera) provides more room for the safety-cell to do its work. Basically, the role of any safety cell is to slow down and absorb the energy of impact by redirecting it around the passenger. The longer the bars of the safety cell are, (materials and construction being equal), the better they will perform.
    Aperta's designers based their rollcage on Indy car design, which has a longer overhang than the squat Aptera.


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