Smart is dropping their gas engine in favour of electric power only for Canada and the US, according to a letter obtained by Automotive News.
The letter was to Smart dealers from Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Dietmar Exler, letting them know to expect the change. The gas-powered Smart Fortwo coupe and convertible will be dropped after the 2017 model year. For 2018, the only Smarts available here will be the Fortwo Electric drive.
The decision will have a big impact on Smart sales. In 2016, only about 10 percent of the 6,211 Smarts sold in the US were the electric model. The split between electric and gas in Canada wasn't available, but is likely similar or leaning more toward the gas model due to our climate and incentives. Recent changes to Ontario's electric vehicle rebate could help boost sales.
The electric Smart was revised for 2017 but with a carry-over battery. It still lacks the ability to quick charge the 17.6 kWh battery, needing 2.5 hours for a full charge. We called the electric Smart more refined and more pleasurable to drive than the gas car and said it was the smartest Smart to pick.