Is This smart?
The Mall of America has 12,287 parking spaces, which are based in two seven-story ramps and two surface lots.
Which is important only for context (unless you’re planning to do some serious shopping, as there are more than 520 stores there, and if you’re going there by car, you might want to avail yourself of a spot in one of those decks because it gets cold in that part of the world: Friday’s high temp is predicted to be 6).
And the context is this:
In 2017 in the U.S., the Mercedes brand smart delivered 3,071 vehicles.
Which means that if every single one of them was marked at MoA, there would be 9,216 spaces left over.
The smart brand has been available in the U.S. for 10 years.
It is nothing if not plucky.
To celebrate its 10th anniversary (which is historically marked with a gift of tin or aluminum), the company is offering a special-edition 2018 smart Anniversary Edition fortwo.
The car will be introduced at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next week.
It has exclusive Sapphire Blue Metallic exterior paint. Distinct badging. It features a BRABUS shift knob, BRABUS floor mats and 16-inch BRABUS Monoblock VII wheels.
All of that makes this 2018 smart special.
But in one way it is the same as all smarts on offer in the U.S. from here on:
It is an electric vehicle.
That’s right: all new smarts for sale in the U.S.—fortwo coupes, fortwo cabrios—are EVs.
They feature a 80-hp three-phase synchronous electric motor and a 17.6-kWh lithium ion battery.
The maximum range for the coupe is 58 miles. (That is not a typo.)
According to InsideEVs, which tracks this, in 2017 there were a total of 199,826 plug-in EVs sold in the U.S. That means full electric, like the Chevy Bolt, and limited all-electric, like the Prius Prime.
That 3,071 for 2017 may be looked at with some nostalgia when the reckoning is done for 2018.
Sandy Munro and his team of engineers and costing analysts at Munro & Associates were contacted by UBS Research—an arm of the giant banking and investment firm—and asked whether it was possible to do a teardown and cost assessment of the Chevrolet Bolt EV.
The little car that could still can. And this time as a car that not only gets great fuel economy, but which has ride and handling that makes it more than an econo-box (and its styling is anything but boxy).
Lithium-ion batteries have become the technology of choice for EVs, and falling costs and rising energy levels could keep them on top for nearly two decades.