New Smart: Big City Car (w /Video)

Big City Car

 Big City Car

Smart is attempting some new strategies on selling the brand in the US, and one of them is the Big City Car.  Rather than just innovate, Smart has gone overboard to the point of ridiculous.

Of course it is possible to sling mud at one’s opponents, but why not just make fun of yourself?  The new Big City Car is real, at least as a prototype, but it is unreasonably large.   And it is merely a 1.5 scale model of the current Smart City car.

The videos that have been made to ridicule the concept of this mega car are truly aimed at all makers of cars that are roughly equivalent to  the Big city car.  But I’m not sure if the campaign is more functional, or just funny.

Ed Begley’s 2002 Toyota Rav4 EV

Ed Begley's 2002 Toyota Rav4 EV

With only three days left on the eBay auction, Ed Begley’s 2002 Toyota Rav4 EV is still available, at for a mere $10,200 as of this posting.  If you want a reliable, small, electric SUV, then you may want to consider this one.

In the  years since its purchase, Mr. Begley has racked up nearly 120 k miles on this EV, which he says was

Meticulously Maintained with some small cosmetic wear, typical of a well loved 13 year old car.

Although the batteries have been replaced once and the car did get into a minor accident shortly after its initial purchase, the vehicle appears to be in excellent condition.

Another added benefit that only electric cars have is the coveted white high-occupancy vehicles sticker.  As it is no longer possible to drive a hybrid in the diamond lane, your only option is with an EV.  And unlike many EVs this one is actually fairly affordable.

Source: Ebay Motors 

Its Electric! 2012 Toyota RAV4

Wow, Toyota actually brought back the long-beloved Electric RAV4.  This new rendition of the RAV4 is quite a bit different in it’s look, but much, much more in under the hood.

Personally, I’ve never been a strong admirer of the RAV4 in any incarnation, but this model is fairly sleek.  I can recall considering at the possibility of purchase back in 2002, but always felt as though the tiny SUV was merely a mockery of the ideals of “Sport Utility”.  Now, I own and daily drive a Chevy Avalanche for the transformer-like utility of said vehicle.

Toyota has really 1-up’d themselves this time over all prior versions.  Electric vehicles often lend themselves to increased cargo and passenger space due to the convenient lack of many of the parts found in internal combustion engine’d vehicles as well as the compactness of the fuel source.  Additionally the center console is button-free, all touch-screen; a convenience to both manufacturer and owner (simplified controls, simplified generation of controls)

In partnering with Tesla, Toyota has earned a powerful ally in the field of electro-mobility and providing the drive train for the electric RAV4.  I believe we can expect great things from Toyota in the near future, in the field of electric vehicles

Special Thanks to Wayne Cunningham at CNET: