How big of a difference does a smart car make enviromentally?

by Tim
(Marlton, NJ)

It's easy to see how tiny the smart car is and so I've been wondering, how is the smart car environmentally friendly? Or is it environmentally friendly at all?

I've heard the smart car mileage isn't all that great, so is smartUSA planning to do anything to improve that? Like introducing a diesel version like they have in Canada and Europe or maybe an electric version to compete with Nissan Leaf, etc.?

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Sep 25, 2010
Great Question!
by: Jim, the Smart Car Guy

That's a great question, Tim, and it was something I was concerned about as well, since a lot of my passion for the smart fortwo car has to do with my passion for the environment.

And the answer is that the smart car -- even the American version -- is VERY environmentally friendly. While it's true the smart's average mileage hovers somewhere around 40 MPG, consider that many of the big trucks and SUVs on the road today get under 20 MPG. So 40 is still more than double what they're getting. And, according to the EPA, smart cars are the most fuel-efficient gas-powered cars in the U.S.

But the smart car's dedication to being environmentally friendly goes way beyond gas mileage... The smart car fortwo uses innovative energy-efficient and recyclable materials in its construction. In fact, 95% of the vehicle is recyclable and the dash material is made from recycled synthetics... Talk about environmentally-friendly!

It's not likely that a diesel version of the smart car will make a U.S. appearance any time soon. Apparently the U.S. emissions policies are too hard to comply with, from Mercedes viewpoint. But a smart electric drive (ED) version IS in the works and has actually started making its appearance here in the U.S. Follow smart ED news here on this site.

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