Smart USA will start allowing their American customers the option to lease Smart ForTwo Electric Drive batteries so they don’t have to pay the full initial $25,750 cost of the car. This will make the already-affordable Smart EV downright cheap. A cheap EV? What a novel idea!
In Europe, the success rate of leasing batteries compared to buying them was so incredible that 97% of customers chose leasing. This is because most people would rather choose small recurrent expenses that add up over buying property outright and paying for all of it immediately, even though outright purchases are usually cheaper in the long run. The battery lease also means that customers won’t be stuck with a worthless lump of battery after a long history of service.
In Europe, the Smart ForTwo costs over $30,000 including the batteries, but it is only $24,000 if you rent the batteries. That is a $6,000 reduction! No wonder buyers are opting for the lease program. Smart expects to sell 2,000 ForTwo Electric Drive EVs in America this year, but that number could jump if they market the affordability of this EV properly.
In the US, the vehicle’s price is only $25,750 without rebates and incentives, and in California Federal and state tax incentives could bring the price down to $15,000. No word on how the battery leasing option will affect costs or tax rebates, but we could potentially looking at an EV that is among the cheapest cars to own. In Europe the battery leasing option costs an extra $83 a month, less than the cost of an average fill-up in a land where fuel can cost as much as $10 a gallon.
The battery is covered by a 4 year, 50,000-mile warranty, which is only half of the 8 years that Ford and Chevy offer with their electric vehicles. However, Smart will replace a leased battery if it ever drops below 80% of total capacity. Depending on the price, this may be the tipping point for EV adoption.
Source: Automotive News