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Last summer I posed the question, ‘Who will sell the first affordable hybrid convertible?’ That post has since been pretty popular, garnering plenty of commentary on which automaker will be the first. Yet, we still do not have a definitive answer.
The good news in all of this? The wait will soon be over for electric vehicle enthusiasts who are dying to drop their car’s top and let their hair whip through the wind.
Exciting news came out of the 2013 New York Auto Show – Mercedes-Benz announced that its Smart line will introduce the first EV convertible to the U.S. The Smart ForTwo Electric Drive cabriolet – or the eSmart convertible – is slated to hit dealerships this fall as a 2014 model.
Knowing just how badly hybrid owners are itching for a drop-top, it will be interesting to see how quickly this EV is accepted. In 2012, hybrids accounted for just more than three percent of the overall market. Electric cars have even further to go before becoming truly mainstream in the consumer’s eye. But the fact that Mercedes-Benz and other manufacturers are now introducing electric vehicles alongside their ICE counterparts means they at least have faith.
I drove the 2013 Electric Drive last fall when Smart let me whirl around Brooklyn, NY in its updated (and electrified) ForTwo. Read my thoughts from that experience at Autoweek.com.
So, what do you think? Will you be ready to cash in on that $7,500 federal tax credit to get that wind-blown look? Will Smart capture your heart? Will a cabriolet EV make the driving experience that much more exhilarating knowing you’re emitting zero GHGs?
Smart is encouraging folks to get their orders in early because sales are anticipated to go fast. Pre-register for your eSmart here – and tell me in the comments if you do!