One of the surprises of the Geneva Motor show is the presence of EQ stickers on the Smart ForTwo and ForFour Electric Drive models.
But isn’t EQ supposed to be the new brand for Mercedes EVs ? First I thought of a label like “Zero Emissions” you can find on the Nissan Leaf as well on the Renault models (“Z.E.”) but after chatting with a member of the Smart staff, I got the confirmation that the brand will stop selling petrol cars in Europe from 2019, after doing the same move in North America this year.
Now if you do 2+2, it becomes quite obvious that these 2 Smart models, soon exclusively electric, will be integrated under the EQ brand.
Smart suffers from slow sales (around 100.000 units per year in Europe, which makes it a small player) and transforming Smart into EQ (that’s pretty much what will happen) will save Mercedes the cost of establishing a 3rd brand, ie a 3rd network that will not necessarily be profitable immediately.
If Mercedes considered Smart to have too little potential in Ireland to officially sell these small cars in our country, they will probably see more opportunities for a more complete EQ range when BMW, Porsche and Tesla aren’t holding back distributing their premium (PH)EVs here. Question is when : 2019 ? 2020 ? Later ?
And wouldn’t these ForFour and ForTwo be perfect here, with their 22kw AC charger due later this year ?