Canadian’s Quest to Trade to a Tesla Roadster Helps Him into a Smart ForTwo Electric Drive

Everyone deserves to dream — and depending on how hard you work and how life treats you, you may even get to make your dreams come true.

Canadian office worker Martin Provost has worked really hard to make his dreams come true — namely of one day owning a Tesla Roadster electric sports car. But with the super-sexy sports car well out of his price bracket, Provost figured there was only way he could obtain a Roadster: trade his way to one. Inspired by fellow Canadian Kyle MacDonald, who managed to trade his way from one red paperclip all the way to a house of his own, Provost set out to trade his way to a shiny Tesla Roadster.

Can you trade up from an SLR Camera to a Tesla Roadster? Not quite, but you can help get a good bargain on a new EV.

Can you trade up from an SLR Camera to a Tesla Roadster? Not quite, but you can help get a good bargain on a new EV.

A few years later, and he’s ended up with an all-electric Smart ForTwo instead.

Provost’s attempt to get to a Tesla Roadster from a digital camera started back in 2010 when he posted a Minolta SLR camera for swap on the Swapsity website. In August last year, Provost hit his eleventh item — a Pedego Classic Comfort Cruiser E-Bike. While it was his first electric vehicle in the swap process and worth a lot more than the Minolta SLR camera he posted back in 2010, it’s still a long way from a Tesla Roadster.

Undeterred, Provost has been looking for other people willing to swap something with the brand new electric bicycle to help him on his way to a Tesla Roadster. In the meantime however, he’s managed to come up with another way to get a cheap electric car: using his bargaining skills on the local Smart dealership.

I needed to replace my old Protege5 since it needed so many repairs and was rusting like crazy. It was used as a commuter… so all I needed was something inexpensive to get my wife and I to work,” he said in his latest blog post. Spying a three-year, $100/month lease with $2,000 down deal on a Smart ForTwo Electric Drive in Toronto, Provost headed to his local Smart dealership, determined to pick up a bargain.

Unfortunately, Provost lives in Ottawa — not Toronto — and the finance special was only available to Toronto residents.

Provost's license plate says it all... He's still wanting a Tesla... one day.

Provost’s license plate says it all: he still wants a Tesla… one day.

Using his honed bargaining skills not to mention the kindness of his local dealership however, Provost managed to convince his local Ottawan dealer to give him the same deal, resulting in a three-year lease deal which he says costs less than the gasoline he was putting in his old car every month.

OK, so Provost hasn’t managed to trade his way to an electric car for free — nor has he succeeded in his attempt to get a Tesla Roadster for free. But his story does at least tell us one very valuable thing when shopping for a car: always be willing to barter when it comes to finance and leasing — and don’t be afraid to be cheeky.

Provost hopefully says that his 3-year lease deal will end about the same time that Tesla is planning to launch its Model , and naturally hopes that by that point he’ll be able to either trade-up to a Model ≣ or another Tesla by then.

Here at Transport Evolved, we’re not sure that he’ll succeed — but at lease he’s ended up with an electric car in the end. What’s more, with a Tesla-engineered drivetrain and battery pack, there is a little bit of Tesla DNA somewhere underneath that Smart ForTwo’s functional German exterior.

As for Provost? He’s not giving up his search and admits to spending a little extra money on an appropriate vanity plate: TESLA2BE.

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  • Michael Thwaite

    Awesome! Welcome to four-wheel EV!

    • teslatradeup

      Thanks Michael! 🙂

  • jstack6

    I’m also a Tesla GEN 3 wanabe and have a website for us to wait on. The Smart-ED is a very efficient vehicle so if it meets his range needs he already won the race.n http://teslawanabeowners.webs.com/

  • The 2014 Smart ED contains no Tesla parts. The high voltage battery is made by Li-Tec (owned by Daimler) and electric motor produced by a partner local to the Smart plant in France.

  • Quote : “three-year lease deal which he says costs less than the gasoline he was putting in his old car every month”nnnThat is my situation as well. I purchased my 2014 Smart ED in Toronto last year and the total cost of ownership is vastly less than the gas car it replaced.nnnPlus, this car is a blast to drive!

    • teslatradeup

      It really is a blast to drive. I consistently trying to find reasons to drive it it’s so fun! 🙂 Follow me on Twitter – I’d love to chat! @teslatradeup