Remember recently we added a Smart Car to our fleet? Well, we’ve doubled down and this time, it’s ELECTRIC!
Sixt rent a car of Santa Rosa, California is proud to offer the 2016 Smart Car Electric Drive with service now inside the terminal at The Charles M. Schulz – Sonoma County Airport (STS). This electrified Smart Car helps avoid gas station lines simply by plugging into any normal household electrical outlet at a cost of only about $1.20 a day. (Grounded and professionally installed 120 volt electrical outlets are strongly recommended.)
“We wanted everyone to drive around in the wine country in an EV,” said Sixt rent a car franchise owner Steve Schneider demonstrating the charger on video. “There’s EV charging stations everywhere.”
The new electric Smart Car plugs into the many public charging stations at STS and the surrounding area, places like Kendall Jackson Vineyards and Home Depot. The industry standard J1772 charge connector lets it use a subscription-based charging network called ChargePoint. The charging cords are stored inside the rear tailgate, easily accessible using a button on the key fob and two latches.
While many electric cars are built for fuel economy, this one seems to have been designed for some pep. The electric drive gets the equivalent fuel efficiency of 107 MPG and can drive an average of 68 miles per charge, more or less depending on how you drive. The resulting blend between economy and performance makes Smart an economy car with great acceleration, surprising cornering and a bus-load of fun to drive.
When you first turn over the ignition, there’s the typical moment of doubt, “Is it on?” Then you gently depress the accelerator and it silently nudges forward. It’s such an eerie, exhilarating sensation that you want to keep on nudging it until suddenly you pushing the speed limit.
The Electric Smart is so quiet, so unassuming — so cute — even Seymour was a bit flustered. When we drove it into the garage, we weren’t sure if Seymour would allow it. But like most he quickly surrendered to Smart’s charm.
The best part of Smart’s electric drive is how responsive it is. The six-speed diesel engine can sometimes be a challenge, with momentary hesitation while shifting gears. Electric drive gives you constant torque without shifting, thus delivering instantaneous acceleration. So, the electric smart never needs to shift down in order to accelerate out of trouble. The power is there when you need it.
Since two Smarts fit in one parking spot, you’ll love how easy it is to find parking at all the busiest places. Our friend and painter Joe Moore has been driving around in a diesel Smart Car for years (see his car in the image above.) Try to find a parking spot for your SUV during a weekend evening out on Fourth Street in Santa Rosa. Talk about smart!
Sixt rent a car of Santa Rosa, California is first in town to rent the 2016 Smart Car electric drive. Try out Sixt’s legendary cars and customer service at affordable prices. Reserve a Smart Car Electric Drive today at www.sixt.com.
We drove the new Smart Car around the airport business park to make a video. Right away we made friends with Tom and Colleen of Santa Rosa, California. Tom was dropping off Colleen for her flight departing out of STS and joked, “Looks like fun but can someone my size fit in it?” According to Colleen, Tom is 6’2″, but we invited him to try the Smart Car on for size.
“Definitely would love to rent this car,” said Tom on camera. “I’m a pretty big guy, but I fit in here easily. Headroom. It’s comfortable. Can’t wait to rent it.” Colleen summed it all up in one word: “Fun!”
We noticed a late model Mercedes while driving by the Pacific Coast Air Museum. You can’t even begin to talk about the Smart Car without paying homage to Mercedes and Daimler-Benz or the role it played in developing smart with legendary watchmaker Swatch.
Sixt Franchise Owner Steve Schneider has believed in the small car market for most of his career, selling Hondas back in the ’70s when very few would. This isn’t Schneider’s first brush with smartness; in 2006 he was photographed in the San Francisco Chronicle for being part of a business venture that sold the first legal Smart cars in the USA with electric transportation pioneer ZAP, though they were of the diesel variety.
We wanted to show the Smart Car to our friend and Sixt colleague Ryan over at the local health club, The Airport Health Club. We thought it would catch people’s attention, and if you watch the video, we were not disappointed. We also drove by Wright Engineered Plastics, the Hilton Garden Inn, the fountain and gardens at The Sonoma County Water Agency, and Airport Stadium 12 cinemas.
Of course, we could not resist taking a picture of the Smart Car next to the Smart Train. The Smart Train will carry passengers between Sonoma and Marin County and is expected to go into service very soon. Very smart we say.
We wanted a good vineyard shot at the beautiful chateau nearby that is home to Kendall Jackson Vineyards. I asked a mom who works there if she would show the car to her son on camera, and she was very cooperative. “It charges so you don’t have to get gas,” she explains to her son. “You know how mommy puts gas in her car? This one you just plug it in.” The boy genuinely double takes.
Jason Hornik had the best job of all, driving around in the Smart electric. One of our Sixt agents, Jason is also a DJ and gave us permission to use some of his dance music to smarten up our video, under his artist name Dilemmachine. Make sure to tune in, and thanks to everyone who helped produce this video.