When you’re wrong, it’s good to say “Sorry”

And thus I will for my attacks on the Ev’ie electric Citroen C1 last week.

It appears that there is in fact a fully electric Ev’ie out on the streets of London. (Shame the DVLA still think it’s petrol, but still, it IS electric. Or certainly, it is now.

Apparently I was wrong. The Citroen C1 Evie DOES exist, at least in prototype form.
Apparently I was wrong. The Citroen C1 Ev'ie DOES exist, at least in prototype form.

It seems that my little worried post about the car being nothing but hype wasn’t truly accurate. While the photos I complained about last week are quite clearly photoshopped and don’t quite match up with what ECC PLC were saying, it’s probably more a case of them having not got a vehicle to use for publicity when the shots were taken than it being a complete out-and-out fake.

So I was wrong. I apologize. How do I know? It appears that WhatCar? have been given the first test drive of the converted C1 Ev’ie prototype. Now that’s more like the behavior you’d expect from a car company with big names on the board of directors.

They even have a Youtube Video of it, which proves that the car exists and is driveable. Although there did appear to be some issues with the prototype while WhatCar? were driving it.

Video and continued post after the jump.

A plea to all EV makers. Learn how to sell a car…

If you’re wondering about the title of this post It’s quite simple. I’m fed up dealing with all the excuses that car companies make when trying to sell EVs. It’s not going to make them popular. Plus it gives the Jeremy Clarksons of the world ammunition in their mission to hate anything without a V8 and a huge exhaust. And who can blame them. When so many in the EV world make silly claims about their cars or silly excuses about how they perform.

I’ve been thinking about this post for quite some time, ever since I went for a test-drive for an EV in London and found that the company offering the test drive were about as professional as buying a car from a dodgy guy in a pub car-park. Why? It was poor organisation, delivery and knowledge. Oh, and a car which was nearly empty. Not good publicity. (They’ve since improved greatly).

Is 12 miles enough?

Earlier this week, various reports surfaced detailing Toyota’s plans to release the 2010 Prius as PHEV, but only to fleet customers. The range? A shade over 12 miles (20 km).

While it’s good to see Toyota going towards a Plug in Prius, it’s a little frustrating to see a small PHEV range when compared to the commercial and DIY conversion options out there for the current Prius. It’s also a little frustrating to see that Toyota only plans to sell the PHEV prius to fleets rather than individuals. Is that the right choice? And is 12 miles EV only range enough?

Is the 2010 PHEV prius going to be a hit with the fleet market?
Is the 2010 PHEV prius going to be a hit with the fleet market?

Photo by Swimfinfan, reproduced under creative commons license.

A Japanese Rav4EV appears on UK ebay… What?

This isn’t a proper post, but I just discovered this RAV4EV on ebay UK. Of course, RAV4 EVs are available in the USA, but they often go for prices well above $50,000. And of course, they have the steering-wheel on the left. That fact often puts people off buying and importing one. The current price…

It’s nice to have the support, but why not convert too?

Today’s post has been rattling around in my head for the past week or so after a couple of comments to previous posts I’d made really got me thinking along with some really intense discussions with various EVers this week. Big thanks to Joe Lado, my good friend Pyoor Kate and Andrew Bissell for getting me thinking. What about? Well, about the future of plug-ins in the UK.

See, it’s long been my thought that EV conversions have to play a part in the future of plug in vehicles. How else are we going to get the 33 million or more vehicles on the roads of the UK switched to greener fuels? Scrapping them all isn’t an option. At £2,000 per pop, (in a scheme similar to those held in Germany and Ireland) I simply don’t see the money being there. Someone would have to fund it. As Pyoor Kate put it when I chatted to her earlier today, £2,000 to force coerce people into scrapping working vehicles to switch to newer vehicles may be a great idea on the face of it, but what if those vehicles don’t need replacing. What if they’re mechanically pretty sound?

Not all old cars should end up like this. They could become plug ins!!!
Not all old cars should end up like this. They could become EVs!

Photo by Ekai

Details of a better deal for encouraging EV and PHEV takeup after the jump

UK government finally publicy announces support for Plug ins, but from 2011.

At a rather subdued Knockhill race-track in Scotland, UK Business Secretary Lord Mandelson and UK Transport Minister Geoff Hoon announced a plan to support Plug In vehicles, not only buying them but “Building them”.

Mr Hoon and Lord Mandelson also had the privaledge to take one of BMW’s Mini E around the Scottish track, publising the Government’s plans to offer a subsidy of between £2,000 and £5,000 to car owners wishing to buy a new EV or PHEV from 2011 onwards. The plan also includes a £20m kitty to pay for the installation of more charging points and infrastrucutre to help Brits go green. Mr Hoon said “”The scale of incentives we’re announcing today will mean that an electric car is a real option for motorists as well as helping to make the UK a world leader in low carbon transport.”

EVs charging at Cribbs Causeway, Bristol
EVs charging at Cribbs Causeway, Bristol

Photo by John Honniball

More thoughts on this news after the jump

Detroit Electric announces a (rough) price guide.

The Detroit Electric company appeared on CNN yesterday to announce that they plan to bring not one, but two EVs to market by 2010.

Appearing on the CNN Corner Office Detroit Electric CEO, Albert Lam, announced the pricing and range of the two EVs that his company plans to launch in 2010.

Detroit Electric's planned 2010 model. Nice looks!
Detroit Electric's planned 2010 model. Nice looks!

At the moment the company are offering two versions of the same car.

  • The “City Range”
    100 Mile Range
    $23,000-$26,000 US
  • The “Extended Range”
    200 Miles Per Charge
    $28,000-$33,000 US

At that price, it certainly looks a good deal. The spec sheet is impressive too, with a top speed of well over 100 mph and a 0-60 time of less than 8 seconds. The car’s specs on the website look really good. There’s little mention on the website though of ordering or who will stock it. Nor where you can go for a test-drive.

CNN video after the jump, plus more about Detroit Electric

280 miles in the Car Jeremy Clarkson claimed 80….

Tesla motors are good at crushing stereotypes. They did it back in 2007 when the Tesla Roadster was unleashed on the general population. It was fast, sexy, efficient and the new plaything for those web 2.0 millionaires. It also generated enough interest that many EV enthusiasts contemplated pawning everything from their grandmother and their dog to their limited edition Star Wars box set to get one. Me included. Although I must admit at this point that it wasn’t any of the above… it was my mortgage. Okay, only for a split second, but it was there.

So, imagine my absolute joy when I opened up my mail this morning. It contained in it some news that the team of Tesla Roadsters taking place in the 2009 Rallye Monte Carlo d’Energies Alternatives finished the rally on a single charge, with over 40 indicated miles remaining on the car’s energy gauge. The course length? 241 miles.

The Tesla.
Photo by Nikki Bloomfield of www.aminorjourney.com

More after the jump, along with details of how the Top Gear team have egg on their faces