Smart USA announced it will offer customers who lease or buy the new ForTwo EV the option of renting the vehicle’s battery on a monthly fee.
Tracey Matura, head of Smart USA, said that the company’s strategy is to ‘minimize the anxiety’ of the customers that the battery will give out before the vehicle. Sales for the Smart ForTwo Electric Drive will begin in the US in May, after the model was introduced in Europe last autumn. Matura said that in Europe almost 97% of the customers chose to rent the lithium ion battery.
“We thought, why not offer the same in the U.S.?” she said.
The rental price in Europe is 65 euro ($83) per month, for as long as 10 years, while the price for the US market has not been set yet. If the customers choose to rent the battery, the price of the vehicle drops to $23,680 from $30,398 if the battery is included. The base price set by Smart USA for the model is $25,750. Although the battery is under the Smart’s four-year/50,000-mile warranty, once this expires customers will have to pay for maintenance and replacement.
“If your battery goes below 80 percent efficiency, they will replace it,” Matura said.