smart USA said it has more than 30,000 prospective buyers waiting to purchase smart fortwo
vehicles, which it demonstrated recently at Consumer Reports' recent "Future
of the Car" event here in East Haddam, CT.
1,600-lb fortwo, said to achieve an average fuel efficiency of 41 mpg, was
transported to the event as a way of showing off a gasoline-burning solution
for the future. The event, attended mostly by the press and industry
organizations, provided a peek at various energy alternatives, including hydrogen
fuel cells, plug-in hybrids, pure electric cars and gasoline-burning vehicles.
almost like going back to the turn of the century, when they had steam power
and electric power and gasoline was just in its infancy," said David Champion,
senior director of the Consumers Union Auto Test Center. "Now it's a slightly
different situation. It's more environmental. We know we're going to run out of
petroleum products at some point in time."
smart USA says it has a solution to the auto industry's coming energy problems. Using a
one-liter, three-cylinder, gasoline-burning engine that produces peak power of
70 HP, the company says it can help to dramatically reduce conventional fuel
consumption. smart's 2009 model has been ranked as the most fuel efficient
non-hybrid vehicle in the United States by the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency's 2009 Fuel Economy
Guide, and has been classified as an ultra-low emission vehicle by the California Air Resources Board.
At Consumer Reports' event, a smart USA spokesman said orders for the vehicle
are outpacing availability in the U.S. "We have over 30,000 people who are
still on a waiting list to purchase a smart fortwo," said Ken Kettenbeil,
director of communications for the company. Kettenbeil said the first
fortwo sale in the U.S.
occurred in January and that approximately 20,000 vehicles have been sold since
expects the fortwo to compete with the future crop of high-mileage hybrids.
"The smart fortwo demonstrates there are options, other than hybrids, when
seeking excellent fuel economy at a time when fuel prices have been at a
historic high," said Dave Schembri, smart USA president, in a company-issued