GRA wrote:My personal feeling is that something like the Smart, but with more range, should be the normal AV urban car-sharing vehicle given the typical occupancy of cars regardless of their size, especially during commutes.
The problem with the Smart here in the US is that unless you regularly park on the street in a crowded urban environment, it made no sense to buy one over a similar (or lower) priced 4 door sedan or hatchback, given the asking price. It makes sense in Europe's (and Asia's) more crowded cities, but not so much here in the US unless you live in Boston, NYC, Chicago, DC, or the central sections of Philadelphia or Baltimore.
It wasn't any more fuel efficient either, and with the included semi-automatic gearbox for the US market, drove TERRIBLY even compared to another econobox. The EV version drove MUCH better, but even though it was the only sub-$25k EV in the US, more EV buyers spent the extra $5k+ and got a Leaf instead.
Add to that Americans' natural aversion towards small cars for safety reasons (whether or not those concerns are valid) and I'm surprised it lasted in the US market as long as it did.
Blue Ocean 2012 Leaf SV, lost that 1st bar at 34 months/26,435 miles. Lease returned 2 months later. Final LeafStat figures: 225 Gids, 17.44 kWH, SOC 91.89%, SOH 82.36%, 69.49% HX, 54.57 Ahr, battery temp 61.8 F.
Now driving a 2015 VW eGolf SEL.