Here’s a film about the launch of the Mahindra e20 Electric Car and its UK launch. For more information click here
I’ve heard that Nice Car Company are going out of business. I sincerely hope this isn’t the case. I’ve been following their fortunes along with those of goingreen who sell the GWiz since I started this vlog in spring 2005. If it’s true then it’s a huge blow to the electric car industry here in the UK. Whilst the major manufactures are asking for bailouts in the UK and US, smaller innovative businesses are left to go broke. We’ve had empty promises for years from the larger car makers and the Government. All in the same week that the climate change report states that electric cars are the only way for a sustainable transport solution…
“Motorists will have to drive electric cars for UK to meet climate change targets.” So runs the Telegraph headline today.
The reality of driving an electric vehicle here is getting harder as time goes on. There are more than 1000 vehicles on London’s roads now. Charging facilities are extremely limited, and most people do not have the luxury of a garage or off street parking. Since my local car park closed, I can never guarantee a charging space in the west end as the bays are permanently full. This makes life difficult in a limited range car such as the GWiz. The City of London has started to charge for EV’s to park in their garages and they haven’t added any further charging points. Camden Council who promised to bring in free parking for electric vehicles more than 2 years ago have still done nothing… and so the list goes on.
I’ve had to resort to charging at home. Not ideal as I have to run a cable across my pavement. If the Government is serious about getting Electric Vehicles on the roads here then lets start with a proper infrastructure now.
Click on the image to view my charging routine.
Good News. Tesla are coming to The UK Motor Show this year. It’ll be on show in the ‘EV Village’ where there will be around twenty battery electric vehicles. Joining it will be the new Super Light from Nice (pictured) aswell as GWiz, Elektromotive (those great charging posts) and a new manufacturer known as Quiet Cars….
And here’s a look at the AC G Wiz. Click on the image to view video (7 meg QT)
Here’s a first look at the Nice Megacity. 40 mph top speed. 40 mile range on lead acid batteries. Click on the image to view video (4.6meg QT)
Forget hillclimbs with huge amounts of torque and wheelspin. How about my DC with almost 3 year old batteries versus a new AC GWiz? The results speak for themselves. Of course, it has nothing to do with the fact that the goingreen driver in the AC was slimmer than me, nothing at all..(ahem). Click on the image to view video. (5 meg QT).
George Monbiot has written an article in the Guardian today entilted "Save the planet in 10 steps" – here’s point 7:
"Oblige all chains of filling stations to supply leasable electric car batteries. This provides electric cars with unlimited mileage: as the battery runs down, you pull into a forecourt. A crane lifts it out and drops in a fresh one. The batteries are charged overnight with surplus electricity from offshore wind farms. Timescale: fully operational by 2011." Garage forecourts are completely alien right now. I drive in and try and get hold of some water for the batteries every now and again and usually fail. People are buying electric cars as quickly as they can get hold of them and the infrastructure isnt there by any means. Click on the image to view video. 3.7 Meg QT.
We’ve had the car for almost a year now so it’s time for a review. The files come out pretty big (6.9meg) so I’ll sum up here for those of you without a broadband connection.
Apart from the obvious environmental considerations it compares well as a general small purpose vehicle that is very suitable for urban living.
It is more robust than I thought it would be.
It’s nippier than I thought it would be.
Parking it is a gift because it’s both small and free.
It can fit my whole family in it, though I’m not sure for how much longer…
It really is cheap to run compared to a normal car.
Range in winter is lessened. (25 miles)
Charging for 16 hours every month can be problematic to equalise the batteries if you don’t have a garage.
Safety, compared to a normal petrol engined car is questionable. Though I think it’s a better bet than a motorbike or a bicycle in London. I cycled for 17 years here and stopped after one accident too many.
All in all, I’m a big fan (as you probably guessed) who would recommend it to anyone who lives in a city such as this. Once range increases to get us outside the M25 the world will be our oyster! Click on the image to view video.
Happy New Year to one and all. Now that winter is truly with us, (reduced range and all) my thoughts have turned to summer. Back in June we went on a green rally. This was a chance for all the electric cars in London to show some muscle (a load of Revas and an electric scooter). Camden council hosted it in Regents Park and there was music, entertainment and general fun to be had. Thumbs up to Camden for hosting this but I reckon they could take a leaf out of Westminsters book if they really wanted to encourage use of the EV in London. Keep an eye out for the boy laughing. I think he’s amazed at our embracing of a green future (he is, isn’t he..?). Click on the image to view video. (3.3 meg QT.)