As if the tiny city-car weren't already a miracle of space-saving efficiency, Smart USA, Daimler's distributor of the Smart in the United States, says it will have a hybrid version available within two years. They even plan to follow it with a plug-in all-electric version. It wouldn't be the first time the Smart went electric, but it would be the first official conversion.

We've covered the Smart's upcoming hybrid drivetrains in the past, but now we have confirmation that the hybrid will be available in the U.S. and that it will be coming in the next couple years, reports Reuters. Interestingly, Smart's President David Schembri says he'd welcome competitors to the microcar segment, because competition would add legitimacy to the fledgling market. If there is only one maker, the sector is not really viable, according to Schembri.

But the regular internal-combustion Smart is getting quite a warm reception, judging by the 30,000 reservations Smart USA has taken over the internet for the inaugural year of the Smart's availability in the U.S. Over 8,000 of those customers are confirmed for delivery. Activity at those levels indicatest the microcar segment is definitely viable, although it is still young. A hybrid variant would add even more draw to the Smart and could help the company cross over from niche distributor to mainstream supplier.