In a somewhat surprising move but definitely welcomed by electric vehicle enthusiasts, Daimler told its dealerships in the US and Canada that it will soon stop selling gas-powered Smart cars in favor of the new upcoming electric versions.

The company didn’t officially announce the move, but German paper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung obtained a letter sent to North American dealerships by Dietmar Exler, head of Mercedes-Benz USA, in which he explained that the company plans to cut the supply of gas-powered Smart cars in September.

Dealerships will only be able to sell all-electric versions of the Smart vehicle lineup. The timing seems to match the US availability of the new all-electric versions of each Smart car unveiled last year.

The new all-electric powertrain consists of a 17.6 kWh battery and a 60 kw (81 hp) three-phase motor. It will be available in the fortwo, fortwo cabrio and forfour:

The company claims a top speed of 130 kmh (80 mph) and different ranges of roughly ~100 miles depending on the version:

fortwo:

  • ~160 km (~100 miles) of range
  • €21,940 (~$25,000)

fortwo cabrio:

  • ~155 km (~96 miles) of range
  • €25,200 (~$28,000)

forfour:

  • ~155 km (~96 miles) of range
  • €22,600 (~$25,000)

Those are German prices and it could be slightly different in the US when they become available. Depending on the final prices, they could prove fairly popular after EV incentives.

It’s definitely a move long overdue for Daimler. The company had an electric version of its Smart car since 2009 when it invested in Tesla after the team converted a fortwo with a battery pack. Despite their small size, gas-powered Smart vehicles were still getting just over 30 mpg. An electric powertrain made the vehicle truly efficient.

It’s not exactly a difficult decision for the German automaker since it’s only in the US and Canada. While the Smart brand is fairly popular with 145,000 deliveries last year, only 6,000 of those were in the US.

Hopefully, the move proves successful and Daimler converts the brand to electric outside of North America also.