When the Smart Car came to North America we were thrilled. Our first chance to drive one was at a promotional field test in downtown Vancouver (BC). We took it through it’s paces on a track that simulated extreme weather conditions. It handled beautifully. The compact and thoughtfully design fit perfectly with our desire to get 50 miles+ per gallon and run on biodiesel!
After a lot of research- including talks with importers and the EPA, we learned that the diesel Smart wouldn’t be allowed in the states (hmmmm). So, we put our lateral thinking caps on and realized that if we couldn’t own one, then at least we could utilize a Canadian Smart for a few months of field testing. What fun!
Whidbey Island is rural. A car is, therefore, pretty much a necessity. We were delighted (and surprised) to see just how many of our vehicle trips (about 90%) were just us and a small amount of possessions (groceries, gym bag, architectural drawings, etc). The test revealed that a small vehicle not only worked for us – but its modest cargo area also helped us be more mindful of what we needed to have with us. Mindfulness welcome.
Now that the Smart has finally arrived, the gasoline version only has a fuel efficiency in the 30-40/mpg range. As our vehicle trips are modest, we’ve decided to wait until we can purchase an all electric vehicle (EV). The closed loop of running our car on power produced from our solar array feels like the best solution. An electric smart is coming…