Car2Go, Daimler’s in-house car sharing program for busy cities around the world, has long been a prominent user of the tiny two-seat Smart ForTwo minicar. Smaller and easier to drive than larger cars, the two-seat Smart has proven popular in Car2Go fleets around the world in both gasoline and electric guise.
But now San Diego’s Car2Go service has announced that its fleet of 2010 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive city cars have been so popular among users to its service that it has upgraded its fleet to include four-hundred new all-electric 2014 Smart ForTwo EDs.
This year, Daimler is refreshing the gasoline Smart ForTwo lineup with a brand-new 2015 Smart ForTwo and the reintroduction of a four-seat variant, the 2015 Smart ForFour. Based on a completely new platform which has been jointly developed with Renault, the new Smart models are quicker and more versatile than the outgoing model year, but have already received rave reviews among European journalists for their sportier handling and more practical gearboxes.
Sadly, the all-electric variant of the Smart ForTwo — built in collaboration with Tesla Motors — won’t get a refresh for the 2015 model year and will be sold alongside the new-look gasoline and diesel variants of the 2015 Smart ForTwo. Despite not getting tis own refresh until the 2016 model year at best however, the current-generation Smart ForTwo Electric Drive still outperforms all previous Smart models in terms of manoeuvrability, city acceleration and driving fun.
In addition, the 2014 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive is a far more capable car than the 2010-generation Smart ForTwo Electric Drive cars being used by Car2Go in San Diego to date. With a larger battery pack, more powerful motor and smoother acceleration, the 2014 Smart For Two Electric Drives will no doubt be welcomed by regular users of the Car2Go Service.
Like similar Car2Go car share schemes in Berlin, users of San Diego’s Car2Go service are incentivised to ensure that they park and charge the electric Smart cars at the end of their rental period, with users being awarded with a ten-minute rental credit every time they charge up the all-electric city car at the end of their rental period.
Having driven both the 2010 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive — which we called ‘scary’ on the freeway — and the more recent 2014 Smart ForTwo ED, we can attest that the generational jump between the two vehicles is indeed well worth trying. Compared to a gasoline or diesel-powered Smart ForTwo, the Smart ForTwo ED has a far lower centre of gravity, gives a slightly higher view of the road ahead, and comes with some excellent user-adjustable regenerative braking as an optional extra.
And while not all of us will make the same choice as Electragirl and buy one for our own fleet, we think if you’re planning a trip to San Diego any time soon you should seriously consider joining the Car2Go fleet there to give one a spin.
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