Yesterday, Dan and I headed to Santa Monica to check out the new 100% electric Smart Cars. The event had been going on for a week, but Sunday afternoon our club, the SoCal Smarties, was treated to a private event with a brunch following the test drives.
Dan and I arrived early and after waving hi to a passing convoy of Smarts, we realized that Dan had forgotten his wallet at home. Doh! He needed his drivers license for the test drive, so we headed back to Glendale. We managed to only be about forty-five minutes late to the event, which was apparently a good move, as we were told that the line for the test drives had been very long at the start of the event.
Valet parking was free for our group and I'm sure that the valets at Santa Monica Place felt like they were being invaded by Smarts. They were everywhere.
The test drive wait was about twenty minutes. As soon as we got in line, a girl came up to us to offer us tea or lemonade. A different attendant approached with an Ipad to register us for the test drive. The registration also entered us in a drawing to win an Electric Smart lease.
Dan went on his test drive first. He has been wanting an electric car and was very excited for the test drive.
I, on the other hand, am a nervous wreck driving in Santa Monica, especially with all of the construction and weekend crowds. I didn't want the added pressure of driving a car that wasn't mine with a stranger in the passenger seat. So, I asked to go on the test drive as a passenger, rather than driving it myself. I was paired with Aaron, who took me around the block and explained the features.
I liked it! I don't do well with change, but the basics look a lot like my current Smart. I liked the added power, as Aaron demonstrated with an acceleration punch. It's zippy! I loved how it is so completely quiet. The surround sound is great too.
After the test drive, we headed up stairs to the Smart Pop-Up Shop. Thanks to early seasons of The Apprentice, I'm familiar with the term Pop-Up Shop!
On entering the event, we were greeted with a glass of champagne and our hands were stamped to indicate that we were drinking = no more test drives.
In addition to the champagne, we were treated to a wonderful buffet, a coffee bar, cocktails and a cute cake in the shape of a Smart Car. I was told that at an earlier event (which out group was invited, but we couldn't make it) they had a sushi spread in the shape of a Smart Car!
We mingled with friends from our group and checked out the Smarts that they had in the room. Dan ditched me for awhile to talk to one of the reps ( a nice guy who looked like he could be Bradley Cooper's twin) and got more info on the electrics. Good thing I was holding his wallet, because I thought Dan might make a very expensive impulse purchase!
We have been on many meet-ups since first buying our Smarts a year ago. As always, the best part of the meets is catching up with the friends that we have made in the group. This event in particular, was great for mingling and even though I didn't have a chance to talk to everyone, I had some great conversations yesterday. In particular, I'd like to mention Ron, who is always so nice and has kind words for my blog. Thanks for reading Ron!
We've been spoiled with free-stuff from the last couple of meets. This time Smart USA put together a great gift bag, that included a big coffee table art book and a cute espresso cup and saucer.
We walked out of the event and headed to third street for lunch. During lunch, we discussed getting an Electric Smart and the discussion turned into a decision to swing by Mercedes Beverly Hills on the way home.
At Mercedes, we spoke with Adrian (who was an early member of the SoCal Smarties) and within half an hour, we put our name down on an Electric Smart that is currently sitting in a Los Angeles port.. This time next week, we may have a new Electric Smart!
It would be a glass top in this gun metal grey matte color.
We are excited over it, but still crunching numbers and working on the logistics. With all of the incentives and rebates, it looks like the lease on the electric would be less than on our current convertible. The City of Glendale would fit a converter into our garage for free and hopefully will be coming out to our house this week to take a look at our garage. We found out the DWP will even give us a bit back on our electricity bill.
The idea is it will be Dan's car for commuting to work and he will be able to charge it while at the office. We will still have my Smart for the longer trips. So far, it sounds like a good deal and the electric is a fun car.
Stay tuned to see if we end up going for it!