The rumor about the € 17,000 replacement battery

In Germany a reader's letter by a smart ED3 owner causes a stir:

"The battery, of my smart 451, is now defective after five years. The cost for the exchange is 17,000 euros plus VAT, the delivery date is approximately in September. The little one is now a total economic loss. I'll put him in the garden, plant a few flowers in it and drive my diesel to work again"


Of course, that's a topic you are only interested in, if you actually bought the battery at that time (4.770 € surcharge). The vast majority of smart ED3 have one rental battery, This costs 65 € / month and hasn't got a milage limit.



Where are the 17.000 € coming from?


In the german newsletter from Electrive.net a Daimler spokesman confirmed that the € 17,000 are correct. Still, that's only half the story.


The € 17,000 (net) is a Daimler internal value. Its goal is, that the replacement batteries are only used in the smarties. This is achieved by writing the customer a good price for the return of the old battery.

At the end there are € 5,880 on the bill for the battery as a spare part, in addition about € 300 for the exchange. For € 6,185 € (net) then the battery is replaced by a smart workshop.


Source: Invoice of an german smart eMotion reader



But why so complicated?


Like every manufacturer, smart must be able to supply spare parts at least until the 10th year after the first registration. This is prescribed by the legislature. Doesn't matter if it's gasoline, diesel, electric or something completely different.

Accordingly, they had to calculated how many replacement batteries will be needed and are keeping them near Hannover in an active network storage ready for use. Batteries want to work, that's the best way to keep them as good as new and so they are even useful while they wait for their use.


If smart would now sell the replacement batteries for € 5,880, some hobbyists would use them to build a power wall for there house or to convert their cars to electric drives with them. Just because the price is extremely good, the replacement batteries would eventually go out before 2026. The easiest way to get it under control is to give the battery a fancy price and to credit the customer with a fancy price on the return. Thus, the internal price is balanced and the customer gets a proportionate bill.

This usually happens in the background, but it obviously needs a competent smart center.