In recent weeks, several brands have announced their transition to 100% electric, with more or less distant deadlines: by 2030 for Alpine, Ford or Jaguar, 2040 for Honda. But a manufacturer born in the warm age has already made a switch: Smart.
At the end of 2019, during the restyling, Fortwo and Forfour stopped the petrol engines. Since then, only the 100% electric version, called EQ, remains. An avant-garde, but logical choice: these are urban models and electric motorization fits perfectly with this playground.
Furthermore, small gasoline-powered city cars will become increasingly rare. Basically, these cars are unprofitable, which caused brands like Ford and Opel to throw in the towel. And it is even less for strict anti-pollution standards, which therefore includes more and more costs. This is the reason given by Luca de Meo to justify the discontinuation of the heated Twingo within a few years.
Marking a segment change, the Twingo has released an electric version. However, it may have done so long before since Smart EQs have been around since the end of 2016. The report? These are technical cousins of the French. Unfortunately for them, this advance did not turn into a commercial advantage. By ditching petrol, the Fortwo and Forfour have seen their sales plummet.
In a market that is clearly still affected by health measures, Smart sold just 548 cars in France from January to April. In the same period of 2019, when it was still producing oil, the manufacturer had sold 2,577 vehicles. If we take into account the disruption of the market (still down 20% compared to 2019), sales are still divided by four.
Smarts are once again very smart on our roads. It must be said that they are not helped by a small battery of 17.6 kWh which gives a limited range: 135 km on the Fortwo, 130 km on the Forfour. Suffice it to say that in reality, we do not exceed 100 km!
For the 4-seater version, this is not enough. For two seats, cut to the city, that might be enough… if the prices weren’t crazy. Une Fortwo starts at €26,750. There is a bonus of €7,000, but in the category, there are more interesting options. Already the Twingo’s cousin, which is shown from €21,550, with a large 22 kWh battery, with a range of 190 km. And in the chic category, the new Fiat 500e offers 320 kilometers of autonomy from €27,500.
The Fortwo is also facing changes in mobility in the city. On its playground, it is attacked from all sides, from the simple electric-assisted bicycle to the Citroën Ami, through car-sharing services.
Switching to electric is not enough, it is still important to have convincing products… They will definitely arrive from 2023, when Smart starts again through a joint venture with the Chinese company Geely.