Mercedes: Electric Smart cars will replace gas-powered cars in US

Mandy DayFeb 15 , 2017

"However, developments within the micro-car segment present some challenges for the current Smart product portfolio", Exler and Chamberlain write. The vehicle has never been branded as one of the German luxury cars, although Mercedes manages Smart in the U.S. Mercedes-Benz USA sold 6,211 units of the city cars previous year, down 16% from 2015 figures.

Daimler will stop selling combustion engine Smart cars in the United States and Canada and focus the brand on electric vehicles in the two markets, the company said late on Monday.

However, the Smart cars aren't the only tiny cars who have seen declining sales.

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Despite being completely redesigned just one year ago, the diminutive Smart Fortwo managed to sell just 6,200 units last year in the U.S.

Those pressures are likely to include the rise in affordable compacts from rival manufacturers, which in some cases offer space for four to five in a footprint not much larger than that of the ForTwo, not to mention stronger economy figures from hybrids despite being significantly larger.

About 50 per cent of Smart vehicle sales are electric drive, Mercedes-Benz Canada spokeswoman JoAnne Caza said. That said, we think the change will have a bigger impact in Canada, where small cars are more popular than in the USA and where gasoline tends to be pricier. The tiny auto featured a three-cylinder, 70-horsepower engine. Meanwhile, the new hardtop and convertible variants of the Fortwo Electric Drive will begin to arrive in showrooms this summer.

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The new all-electric powertrain consists of a 17.6 kWh battery and a 60 kw (81 hp) three-phase motor.

Smart was first introduced to the USA five years ago via various trial programs, including Mercedes' Car2Go ride-sharing service fleets.

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